Round Five: Lions select Cory Durden, DT, Florida State
After adding an edge rusher in round two, Detroit would be wise to search for a mid to late-round defensive tackle that offers an interior pass-rush, which they’ve been missing for years. Florida State’s Cory Durden is someone that projects to be an interior lineman when they get to the NFL.
He has the size and strength to hold up well there and his best skills are better suited to playing inside than out. Joe Marino, of The Draft Network, mentioned that Durden managed to pressure the quarterback 47 times in 2019 despite being used outside of his natural position on defense. Marino writes that …
"“Bull rush is dominant … Does well to fit his hands, leverage his hips … and finish with a variety of swipes and combos.”"
In addition to his ability to apply interior pressure, Durden can also win his one-on-one blocks in the run game and will not be easily displaced by a single blocker. His experience at FSU of being used all along the defensive line also gives him positional versatility which is a plus in Detroit.
Grabbing an interior defensive lineman in the fifth round that offers plus pass rush and solid run defense, even if he does have some tackling and finishing issues, is a great addition to the team that wouldn’t require a ton of work before being able to step onto the field and help fix what has been a horrid defensive unit.
The Durden pick wraps up this mock draft as the Lions only have five picks this upcoming draft and overall it was a nice mix of value/best player available and team need. A ton of defensive needs were addressed and the biggest offensive need was taken care of as well.
No quarterbacks available made sense when the Lions were on the clock so that position waits another year; which isn’t the biggest deal when considering what all this team needs to succeed.