What are the Detroit Lions biggest draft needs for 2021?

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /
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Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Lions other draft options

Given the you-get-what-you-get nature of the draft, that teams don’t control what prospects stay or declare for any draft, nor the quality and depth of any position pool, there’s a chance that the Detroit Lions select from a different position group because the value is not there at positions of need.

Combine the unpredictable nature of the talent pool with the happenstance of eight other teams picking before you and trying to predict who the Lions may select is a bit like nailing Jello to the wall, who knows if any of it will stick? The draft also tends to favor certain positions, quarterbacks, offensive tackles, pass rushers, cornerbacks, and receivers.

Those that require ball skills and their protectors, plus those who disrupt them, are often the focus early on in the draft.

If you’re a left tackle that can handle bull rushes and speed edge rushers, you’re going to get selected high even if your team didn’t “need” you prior to the draft because it’s difficult to find a great tackle that can protect a quarterback’s blindside. Some positions have a premium on them due to league-wide shortages, for reasons like this.

Even with a fairly young nucleus of talent along the offensive line, Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Joe Dahl, and Tyrell Crosby, the Lions would be dumb to not consider Penei Sewell if he fell a few picks.

Christian Darrisaw, Alex Leatherwood, Jalen Mayfield, Walker Little, and Samuel Cosmi are other names to be aware of if the Lions look to beef up their O-line before any players become free agents. The line has room to get better, for sure.

A big decision will face the franchise when Matthew Stafford’s fate is decided. If he returns, which he has stated that he wants to, will the team draft an heir-apparent like Trey Lance or Zach Wilson, both of whom are looked at as solid second-tier quarterback options? Would they consider trading Stafford if he doesn’t want to endure another shake-up and a new set of offensive coaches?

Lastly, there are a few talented cornerbacks that could be sitting there, Patrick Surtain II, Caleb Farley, Shaun Wade, and Tyson Campbell that would normally be in the mix to be selected in the middle of Round 1. However, with the Lions having just taken Jeff Okudah third-overall and the development of Amani Oruwariye, would they have the ability to sell another high selection at cornerback?

Okudah, Oruwariye, Justin Coleman, and Desmond Trufant don’t sound like a unit that needs to be improved but alas, they surrender 262.8 yards-per-game with the inexperience and injuries they’ve dealt with. They must improve from 26th in the league, which also involves improving the pass-rush.

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In short, the Detroit Lions have all of the options on the table. They just need to find a player that fits and that will prosper in “Dé-twah” (Detroit is a French word for strait). There, now you can tell your significant other that you learned something today.