Detroit Lions: 3 first-round draft choices that might enrage fans

Detroit Lions fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Gregory Rousseau, Detroit Lions
Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

Overreaching for a pass rusher

Insert any name you want above, but the Lions seemingly overreaching for any draft prospect can turn the fanbase sour. In this case, Detroit might decide selecting a pass rusher like Michigan’s Kwity Paye, Miami’s Jaelan Phillips or Gregory Rousseau would be in their best interest.

Yet, this draft class is considered to be rather weak in that area. And there’s certainly not a pass rusher deemed worthy of the seventh overall selection. Detroit would likely be better off trading down for additional picks if considering such a prospect in the first round.

But if the Lions are unable to find a trade partner, reaching for a player to fit team needs rarely seems to work out. And it’s often initially very unpopular with fans until proven otherwise.

If the Lions were to draft someone like Paye, Phillips, or Rousseau with the seventh overall pick, they’d probably do so despite more highly-rated prospects like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, Alabama wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, or Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater still being available.

And oftentimes it isn’t just the chosen player’s performance that draws a lifetime ire from fans thus resulting in the label of being a “draft bust”, but also the prospects the team passed on in order to select them. See the players drafted after the Lions selected a tight end, Eric Ebron, in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft for example.

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Considering the fact this year’s first-round selection by the Detroit Lions will represent a bold new direction for the franchise, it’s even more important they get this one right. Overreaching for team need, adding a controversial quarterback selection, or drafting a first-round tight end for the second time in three years could certainly anger a fanbase that simply deserves better.