PFF's best case draft scenario would be big win for Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions may focus on cornerbacks in the first round of the draft, and Pro Football Focus' ideal scenario has that on the radar.
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With the new league year approaching, the Detroit Lions are beginning to form a road map as it relates to the additions they might make to improve their roster. Looking toward the draft, after the NFL Combine, cornerback should be somewhere on their radar.

Before the combine, an ideal draft scenario for the Lions was identified by Pro Football Focus's Dalton Wasserman.

"The conversation around the Lions after their playoff loss centered on coaching and fourth-down decisions, but their coverage unit is not yet good enough to win a Super Bowl. They finished the year 30th in PFF coverage grade. Brian Branch was a hit in last year’s draft, but Jack Campbell’s coverage prowess at Iowa didn’t translate to the NFL game in his first season."

"Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry would be a good option for Aaron Glenn’s man-heavy defense, as long as he puts up a sufficient NFL Combine performance."

Adding a player like McKinstry would be a win for Detroit. He was a First-Team All-American in 2023, and over the last couple drafts the Lions have shown some affinity for Alabama players who played for Nick Saban.

New injury should not diminish Kool-Aid McKinstry's draft stock, appeal to the Lions

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, McKinstry did not work out at the combine after the discovery of a Jones' fracture in his right foot during medical evaluations in Indianapolis. But he is expected to work out at Alabama's Pro Day on March 20, then be fully ready for training camp after getting the injury fixed.

For the uninitiated, a Jones fracture is a broken bone on the inside of the foot to the pinky toe side. It typically occurs from overtraining, as a draft prospect might do when training for on-field stuff at the combine (40-yard dash, etc.) or more pressure on the foot due to weight gain. It's jarring when an injury has what amounts to a proper name on it, but McKinstry's draft stock may not be greatly impacted by this.

If anything, McKinstry might be more in play for the Lions at No. 29 overall if teams are scared off by the foot injury. And Brad Holmes has not be scared away from drafting someone by more severe injuries (Jameson Williams, Hendon Hooker). So it indeed might be ideal if McKinstry does fall down the first round, for a reason that feels a little flimsy right now.

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