As the draft approaches, the questions around the Detroit Lions and their third overall pick continue to swill. But do they already have their Vontae Mack?
The NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night and the Detroit Lions hold the third overall pick. There have been many scenarios out there for trading back from number three or standing pat and taking any number of different players. But do they have their Vontae Mack, so to speak?
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the movie Draft Day with Kevin Costner, you’re missing out. Err … sorry, you’re about to hear how it ends. In the movie, Costner has his guy. He’s the general manager of the Cleveland Browns and he’s got a player at the top of his draft board that he’s going to select, “no matter what.” And that player is Vontae Mack.
We don’t need to get into whether the scenarios in that movie are real-world or completely outlandish – it’s a fictional movie made for entertainment, after all. We’re just here to discuss the strategy that the movie employs.
So, with all the rumors and trade scenarios that naturally float around ahead of the NFL Draft, do the Detroit Lions have their Vontae Mack? Is there a guy on the board that Lions general manager Bob Quinn is ready to select no matter what happens?
This strategy isn’t always the best. It limits the flexibility of your selections when you’re actually on the clock. But, it also doesn’t let you fall into the trap of outside influence persuading you away from taking a sure-fire starter that can have a huge impact on your team.
Say Quinn wants a guy like Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah. That’s his target – so says the rumor mill and a heaping amount of mock drafts. This strategy also means he can’t do anything foolish to lose Okudah. Don’t trade down too far. Be prepared to stay at third overall and select him there. Even if you know you could get more picks by trading down, you might not want to risk it.
It’s an interesting strategy, to say the least. Having a higher pick makes it easier to get your guy. The problem is knowing for sure you could probably get him a few picks later, but you also need to have a trade partner willing to give something up.
The funny thing is Draft Day has more parallels to this year’s Detroit Lions. In the film, Costner’s character is pretty much on his last leg with the Browns. He needs to make a move and start winning right away or he could be fired before the season ends. Does any of that sound like the Lions to you?
It doesn’t matter what player they are actually targeting – Okudah, Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa – they need to be a home run and make an impact in year one. So, do the Detroit Lions have their Vontae Mack? We’ll find out in two short days.