The Detroit Lions need both interior pass rushers and edge rushers. Here are multiple options to fill those needs on each day of the 2020 NFL Draft.
After struggling greatly to pressure opposing quarterbacks throughout the 2019 NFL season, the Detroit Lions need to take at least one, but probably two or more, pass rushers to the defense.
Currently, the best pass rusher the Lions have on the roster is a defensive end, Trey Flowers. After him, is a multitude of largely unproven players such as defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, JACK linebacker Austin Bryant, and defensive tackle Nick Williams, among others.
There is a huge need to add multiple quality options to rush the passer along the defensive line and it shouldn’t be out of the question to add multiple pass rushers in the 2020 NFL draft, be it one JACK and one interior defender, or doubling up at a position. The draft this year is solidly deep among interior defenders with pass-rushing defenders, while a bit more top-heavy at the JACK position.
If the Lions want to draft a quality JACK option who can contribute heavily from day one, they will likely need to do so in the top three rounds. However, they could wait until the last three rounds to draft an interior rusher, as there will still be quality options with attractive upside well into day three.
The Lions could draft either a traditional defensive end in the mold of Flowers, a JACK linebacker that is a hybrid pass rusher/coverage defender (think Khalil Mack), and/or an interior defensive lineman with pass-rushing abilities (like Fletcher Cox).
Most likely Detroit will end up with two of these three positions drafted, although if they trade back they could pick up enough picks to draft one player from each position. With all of this in mind, let’s take a slightly more in-depth look at which players might be the best options for the Lions to select once they’re on the clock.