Offense addressed early?
The upcoming NFL draft is expected to be a defensive-heavy class for the Lions, as it appears a bulk of their needs reside on that side of the ball. After all, this is a unit that finished dead last in passing yards allowed (4,551) and 31st in total offensive yards allowed (6,406) in 2019. The defense also only recorded a total of 28 sacks, tied for second-lowest in the NFL.
But based on the past four drafts, Quinn has addressed needs on offense in the first round three out of the four times. And over the past two years, the Lions’ first and second-round selections were focused on the offensive side of the ball with three out of those four picks (Ragnow, Hockenson, running back Kerryon Johnson).
Although it seems the vast majority don’t believe the Lions will use their first-rounder in 2020 on an offensive player because of the expected defensive talent available, their selections soon after (35th, 67th, 85th) could easily swing back to the offense.
Defensive end has been a constant focus
Over his past three draft classes, the selection of a defensive end has been a constant. And since the arrival of head coach Matt Patricia, that position has been addressed in the fourth-round twice. In 2018, the Lions traded up for Alabama’s Da’Shawn Hand. Last year, Detroit brought in Clemson’s Austin Bryant.
One of the Detroit Lions’ biggest perceived needs figures to be pass rusher. Although, Patricia’s defensive scheme seems to prefer getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks in other ways. Despite the presence of Trey Flowers, this position once again has a solid chance of being addressed early. And with five selections in the first four rounds, it’s a good bet one will likely be spent on a defensive end.