The Detroit Lions have officially managed to knock themselves out of the playoff conversation by losing to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday to drop to 5-9 on the season.
So, with the playoff talk dead, discussions about of the 2019 NFL Draft has already begun.
If the season ended today, the Lions would have the No. 7 pick in the draft, so let’s take a look at who I believe they would select in that spot.
With the seventh pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select…
Rashan Gary, Defensive End, University of Michigan
*Note: I believe players like Josh Allen and Ed Oliver will be off the board when the Lions select.
For those of you who have been paying attention to Michigan football for the past couple of seasons, you have certainly heard of Rashan Gary. Though Gary has dealt with a shoulder issue this season, there is no question about it that he will be worthy of a top 10 pick when the 2019 NFL Draft rolls around.
With Ezekiel Ansah almost surely out of the picture next season (he has been out of it for most of this season), Gary would immediately upgrade the Lions defense.
A lot of analysts are stuck on the fact that Gary plays defensive end for the Wolverines and doesn’t put up the statistical numbers you would expect from an elite defensive end. What gets overlooked is how Gary is used in Don Brown’s scheme — as an “anchor” defensive end.
The “anchor” role is exactly what it sounds like. Gary is asked to anchor his side of the line, set the edge first and then pass rush second. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly what the Lions ask their down EDGE rushers to do.
Gary has Da’Shawn Hand type range — with more pass rushing chops — and would give the Lions two incredibly versatile pieces to pair with Harrison and Robinson. Imagine this defense with two Hands in the fold. Yes, please.
The reason why I used Schlitt as a source is that I happen to agree with him wholeheartedly about Gary. This is a move I have been talking about the Lions making (if they have the chance) for at least a year and now that it seems like they will have a top 10 pick, they could have their shot to land the Wolverines’ defensive end.
Many have knocked Gary because of his “lack of production,” but they clearly do not understand the role he has been asked to play for Michigan. Trust me, and Schlitt, Lions’ fans should be thrilled if they can add Gary to their defensive line.