We are now, officially, into the 20s in our 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s review how the last five picks in our draft here have gone before we move forward.
15. Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
16. Baltimore Ravens - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
18. Seattle Seahawks - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
19. Dallas Cowboys - Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist
That brings us to the last of the Minnesota Vikings’ NFC North compatriots, the Detroit Lions, who hold pick #20 in this year’s NFL Draft. The Lions couldn’t make it back to the postseason for a second straight year, and have some issues they need to address. Let’s take a look at them here.
2017 record: 9-7 (2nd place, NFC North)
RB LeGarrette Blount (free agent signing), QB Matt Cassel (free agent signing), LB Jonathan Freeny (free agent signing), C Wesley Johnson (free agent signing), LB Christian Jones (free agent signing), LB Devon Kennard (free agent signing), CB DeShawn Shead (free agent signing), TE Levine Toilolo (free agent signing), OL Kenny Wiggins (free agent signing), DT Sylvester Williams (free agent signing), TE Luke Willson (free agent signing)
S Don Carey (signed with Jacksonville), TE Eric Ebron (signed with Indianapolis), TE Darren Fells (signed with Cleveland), CB D.J. Hayden (signed with Jacksonville), DT Haloti Ngata (signed with Philadelphia), C Travis Swanson (signed with New York Jets), LB Tahir Whitehead (signed with Oakland), LB Paul Worrilow (signed with Philadelphia)
Defensive line - Detroit needs to shore up all of the positions on the defensive line as things stand right now. They brought back Ezekiel Ansah at defensive end, but as we’ve seen over the years, he can’t be depended on to stay healthy for any meaningful length of time. Even if he does stay healthy, he needs assistance. On the inside, A’Shawn Robinson has shown promise, but Haloti Ngata is gone and they need someone to pair with him on the interior.
Interior offensive line - The Lions will have Taylor Decker back and healthy next season, and they spent big money to bring in Ricky Wagner at the other tackle spot. On the inside, though, is a different story. Travis Swanson was their starting center last year, and he’s now departed. T.J. Lang has had injury issues as well, so the team could definitely use help at both center and guard.
Linebacker - The Lions have Jarrad Davis to man the middle linebacker spot, but both of their outside starters, Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow, are with different teams. Even with the signing of Christian Jones, the Lions are still down a man at linebacker, and are lacking depth there as well.
Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio - Davenport is a player that is definitely going to need some time to develop, as he played his college ball at a smaller school. Still, he has as much physical talent as any other defensive end in this year’s draft.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan - Hurst gave everyone a scare at the Scouting Combine when he was diagnosed with a heart ailment and sent home early. He has since been cleared, however, and if teams have enough confidence in the clean bill of health he’s been given, he could be the sort of 3-technique tackle that can provide some interior pass rush for the Lions. And, hey, he wouldn’t have to move far, which is nice.
Billy Price, C, Ohio State - Price, who followed in Pat Elflein’s footsteps in winning the Rimington Award (given to college football’s best center), has been told that he will definitely be recovered from his pectoral injury by Training Camp, which is great news for him. He could easily step in at center to replace Swanson, or the Lions could shift him over to guard if they felt that to be a better fit.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State - I’ve got Vander Esch as the second-highest inside linebacker type on the board, though your mileage may vary on that. He’s not just a two-down middle linebacker, as he’s quite good in coverage and has the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. He can definitely be a Day 1 starter for this defense and stay on the field for all three downs. He could probably even play outside if the Lions wanted to put him there.
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia - If the Lions want to address the interior of their offensive line with someone that’s more of a pure guard, Wynn could be their choice. Though he played tackle for the Bulldogs, he projects to be a guard at the next level, and might be the most athletic interior lineman left at this point.
Running back is a need for the Lions, too, but let’s be real here. . .there’s not a running back worth this spot, so we won’t waste any more space on it. They can address running back in later rounds.
There’s your look at the Detroit Lions, folks. Tomorrow, we start the playoff portion of Round 1 of this year’s draft with. . .the Cincinnati Bengals? (Well, they have the pick that initially belonged to the Buffalo Bills, who did make the playoffs in 2017, so it still counts.)
With the twentieth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Marcus Davenport, DE, UT-SA
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Billy Price, C, Ohio State
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia