The Lions have a solid secondary, but they lack a strong No. 2 cornerback to play across from Darius Slay. They've tried Nevin Lawson and D.J. Hayden there this year, and both have failed.
Pick change; previously Austin Bryant, DE
Rd. 2, Pk. 19
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
There's some uncertainty with Ezekiel Ansah, as he's an impending free agent with a dubious injury history. I'm sure he'll be franchised, but how long will he last in Detroit beyond 2018? Meanwhile, Kerry Hyder is coming off a season-ending injury. The Lions could opt to select an edge rusher.
Pick change; previously Iman Marshall, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 20
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
It's a complete shock when Eric Ebron doesn't drop a pass, so that's a sign that the Lions should probably find a new tight end.
The Lions need to improve their linebacking talent and add an edge rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah. Watt could play linebacker on run downs and rush off the edge in passing situations. Thus, he would help Detroit's defense in two spots.
Watt was one of the breakout players of the 2016 season. He is good at setting the edge in run defense and also is a terror in the pass rush off the edge. Watt recorded 63 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2016. The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder could be even better as he gains experience. Watt isn't the fastest or most explosive edge defender, but he is tough with advanced technique and a great motor.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
The Lions could use multiple linebacker upgrades from this draft class.
In 2016, McMillan was solid for Ohio State with 102 tackles, seven for a loss, two sacks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder played well in 2015, totaling 119 tackles with 1.5 sacks and four passes broken up on the year. As a freshman in 2014, he played a lot for Ohio State and totaled 54 tackles with 2.5 sacks and a pick-six.
McMillan is a tough defender who has the skill set to be a three-down starter in the NFL. Right now, however, he struggles in pass coverage and needs to improve his ability to drop into coverage. McMillan is a physical, tough run defender at the point of attack.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
The Lions could use more tight end talent, and Shaheen is a physical freak. He could pair with Eric Ebron and maybe replace him as the feature tight end in Detroit.
Sources say that Shaheen (6-6, 278) is a freak athlete who could be one of the mid-round steals in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was a workout warrior, as expected, but team sources say that his tape showed serious receiving ability for the next level. Even though Shaheen is tall and thick, he has freaky speed and athleticism for such a big tight end. Teams think that Shaheen could be a versatile tight end to create mismatches in the passing game.
Shaheen caught 57 passes for 867 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2016. The previous season, he had 70 receptions for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns. Some team sources even compared Shaheen to Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Ameer Abdullah has been a disappointment thus far for the Lions. Even if he turns it on in Year 3, Detroit could use a power runner to pair with him.
Clement averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,375 yards with 15 touchdowns. He had 12 receptions for 132 yards as well. Clement (5-10, 221) had a respectable showing at the Senior Bowl as he was a physical downhill runner.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska
The Lions could use some more safety depth as both of their starters will be free agents after the 2018 season.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Zach Pascal, WR, Old Dominion
The Lions could use some receiver depth, and Pascal could be a steal.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Jeremiah Valoaga, DE/TE, UNLV
The Lions grab a late-round sleeper they've shown interest in.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State
The Lions add more defensive tackle talent with a player they hosted.
Detroit needs a running game that can take pressure off QB Matthew Stafford and Guice brings that and more as a dynamic, three-down option. He has big-play ability both as a runner and as a receiver and his 111.7 elusive rating (52 missed tackles forced on 192 touches) in 2016 showed his capabilities.
I suspect the Lions avoidance of improving their pass rush or running game will cause the Lions to lose a bunch of close games. Plus, their strength on the o-line took a massive hit with Taylor Decker's injury, which will be hard for him to come back from right away. They will probably have an up and down disappointing season. With Ansah an upcoming free agent I bet he would like a guy across from him to pick up his sack numbers so he can get a hefty new contract after his franchise tag year most likely. Hubbard is the second coming of Joey Bosa from Ohio St with equally explosive pass rush ability. He may not be as versatile or explosive as Bosa, but his technique and energy is great. On Ohio St his numbers might not be great due to their great rotation, but he will find a way to stand out.
Last Weeks Selection: Sam Hubbard DE Ohio St at Pick # 16
The Lions for sure need help at tackle this year, but they get Decker back soon, and so I believe they'll be just fine on offense. Then there's defense though. needs...
None are really dire needs but obviously 2 are more clear than the other. Corner is not an issue in my opinion, you got some studs back there and Slay is a shut down corner. Other than when he's against Diggs. There is a clearly dominant player perfectly available to select and that's is Ward, but I'd say they take a pass on him. LB Malik Jefferson would be nice but they just got Jarrad Davis. Ngata is getting old on the interior d-line, A'Shawn Robinson can't do everything there, adding Wilkins would be a dream come true as he falls down the board into their greedy hands... He could make this team more dominant against the run, especially helping in division games(Dalvin Cook, Howard, Aaron Jones, Tarik Cohen) this would likely pay off fast.
This is a huge year for Ameer Abdullah to show that he is the starting back for the Lions. If he doesn't break out, Detroit could target a running back early in the 2018 NFL Draft. Adding a bigger back would make sense for the Lions. <br> <br>
In 2017, Freeman is averaging 5.6 yards per carry for 460 yards with nine touchdowns. He has six receptions for 109 yards as well. A thickly built back who has some quickness and athleticism, Freeman has served as the bell-cow back for the Ducks the past few seasons. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry in 2016 for 945 yards with nine touchdowns. As a junior, he had 23 catches for 144 yards as well. <br> <br>
Freeman impressed as a freshman by averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 1,365 yards with 18 touchdowns while also picking up 16 receptions for 158 yards and a score. He was even better as a sophomore, averaging 6.5 yards per carry for 1,836 yards with 17 touchdowns. Freeman added 26 receptions for 348 yards and two scores as well.
The Lions could use an edge rusher across from Ziggy Ansah. <br> <br>
In 2017, Landry has 32 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, five sacks and two passes broken up. The senior was manhandled by Notre Dame, struggling against a freshman right tackle and, on a few snaps, against left tackle Mike McGlinchey. Landry was moderately better, but still underwhelming, against Clemson.<br> <br>
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Landry had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops and 4.5 sacks. Landry would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.