We’ve finally made it. The NFL Draft is tonight. No more mock drafts, no more talk about which guy the Detroit Lions are going to take, and which section of the fan base will be happy about it and which won’t. I’m going to sleep for two weeks straight when this is over.
With all that said, with just few hours before the Lions are on the clock, it’s time we sit down and really establish the Lions needs ahead of the draft. Perhaps this will help Lions fans guess what the team will do next. Let’s jump into it.
The Lions need to get to the quarterback really bad. The team finish third from the bottom in sacks in 2021, and the defense really paid for it in the scoreboard. The Lions did bring back their 2021 sack leader Charles Harris and their 2020 sack leader Romeo Okwara is coming back from a season-ending injury as well. Still, the Lions need their top dog at this position, and there’s a good chance the Lions feel that guy will be their at two.
It seems somewhat debatable on whether or not the Lions need to rush to podium to draft a safety this year. The team returned Tracy Walker and picked a starting caliber safety in DeShon Elliott in free agency. Still, Elliott was signed to a one-year deal, and safety is drastically important in this defensive scheme. Don’t be surprised to see them address this position in one of their first three picks.
The Lions would appear to be stocked up at receiver at the moment, but there are no long-term options outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown. DJ Chark could very well return to Pro Bowl form in 2022, but on just a one-year contract, there’s a chance he may exit Detroit after that. The Lions need a homegrown playmaker to go with St. Brown. Be on the lookout starting in the second round. Although the Lions waited until Day 3 last draft and still scored with Amon-Ra St. Brown. There’s a chance they may do that again.
Much like edge, the Lions need guys who can improve the team’s defense, especially in the middle of the field. On top of that, Derrick Barnes is the only Lions linebacker who is signed beyond this upcoming season. There’s plenty of talent in this draft, and the Lions could be possibly looking at linebackers as early as the first round.
Here’s a position that it feels like nobody is talking about. The Lions have a Pro Bowl tight end in T.J. Hockenson, but the cupboard is bare outside of that. There are plenty of options in the draft that the Lions could get on Day 3, but do the Lions feel they need it? They should if they don’t.
Depth is the name of the game when it comes to the offensive line. So far the team has a starting group capable of elite play and a promising guy off the bench in Evan Brown. Outside of that, there are a lot of questions about the remaining players. The Lions could use depth at guard and tackle, and it’s there for them all throughout the draft. With the Lions having needs bigger than this, however, this may be a need that is only addressed on Day 3.
The Lions have a starter in Jared Goff already, and despite a tough first half of the 2021 season, he really showed what he could do in the final six games of the year. With the right play calling and a refurbished offense with more talent and health, should the Lions see what they have? Or should they go get themselves a quarterback in this year’s draft? If they decide to cut bait on Goff and look to the future, it’s going to cost them, especially if they want to get the draft’s best quarterback, Malik Willis.