According to reports, the Detroit Lions have re-signed one of their defensive ends.
The Lions announced on Friday night that they have re-signed defense of end Romeo Okwara to a 2-year deal.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) March 2, 2019
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Okwara’s deal with the Lions is worth up to $9 million.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 2, 2019
No-brainer move by Bob Quinn, but a good move nonetheless.
Drysdale: Full Detroit Lions 2019 ‘Perfect’ NFL Mock Draft Vol. 1
Polar Vortex 2019!
What better time than to write up my first full Detroit Lions 2019 NFL Mock Draft?
Let me begin by saying these mock drafts are extremely fluid as free agency will play a huge role in what direction Lions’ GM Bob Quinn decides to go in the NFL Draft.
For example, I personally believe that acquiring an edge rusher should be the number one priority this offseason and I would have to believe that Quinn agrees with that. But if he goes out and signs a big name DE such as Trey Flowers out of New England (yes, please!), the chances of the Lions drafting an edge rusher with their No. 8 pick in the first round would drop, though it is still possible.
Round 1 (No. 8 overall) Rashan Gary (DL) – Michigan
Despite not having as much production as many projected him to have at the college level, Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary is the real deal and I have no doubt that he will be a top 10 pick. Gary would fit in beautifully with what Matt Patricia wants to do with the Lions’ defense and if he is available at No. 8, Bob Quinn should not hesitate to pull the trigger.
From The Draft Network:
Rashan Gary is a versatile defender with the needed abilities to be a disruptive force working from 3T. Gary has the ability to set the edge vs. the run and can be worked on the outside sparingly, although his pass rush skills are best utilized in scenarios that allow him to play with linear angles and with his hips aligned behind his pads to optimize his power and quickness.
Round 2 (No. 43 overall) Irv Smith Jr. (TE) – Alabama
2018 proved exactly how important it is for Matthew Stafford to have a tight end who can make plays. When Bob Quinn got rid of Eric Ebron, his game plan was to upgrade the position but as we know, that backfired on him. Some have said the Lions should draft a tight end in the first round, which in my opinion would be a mistake, but selecting Irv Smith out of Alabama in Round 2 would be a huge get. Smith is not only a great run blocker but he can get open and makes plays in the passing game.
From The Draft Network:
Not many tight ends in college football can hold a candle to what Irv Smith did this season for Alabama. 710 yards, seven touchdowns and an average of 16.3 yards per catch are all eye-popping numbers which led to Smith wisely bolting for the NFL following the National Championship Game. There his athleticism, smooth routes and strong blocking skills should translate quickly into a versatile starting tight end.
While Smith may lack elite explosiveness, he still has the speed to win vertically as a flexed receiver while being one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft. The risk of drafting him is minimal, especially if he tests as well as expected. Smith may never be a top 2-3 tight end in the NFL, but he’s fully capable of being among the best in the next tier.
Round 3 (No. 88 overall) Michael Jackson (CB) – Miami
Despite what some fans may think, the Lions’ secondary (outside of Darius Slay) is hot garbage. Unless Slay can cover both sides of the field on the same play (he can’t), the Lions absolutely must give him some help on the other side. The answer could be Michael Jackson out of the University of Miami. Jackson has good size and he is not afraid to mix it up when asked to play man coverage.
From The Draft Network:
Michael Jackson has attractive qualities as a potential starter in the NFL. Jackson’s size and physicality at the line will serve him well on the boundary. Yet Jackson’s lapses in discarding blocks, tendency to grab just a split second too long on breaks and his modest change of direction skills and burst in space pose as barriers that will make him a scheme-specific prospect. Jackson needs to play press-man coverage in order to properly illustrate his strengths.
Round 4 (No. 111 overall) Andy Isabella (WR) – UMass
I have been all over Andy Isabella since Senior Bowl week started and the rest of the nation has hopped on the bandwagon. One of Bob Quinn’s biggest jobs this offseason will be to replace Golden Tate and Isabella is the man for the job. Not only his he extremely fast but he runs efficient routes that allow him to get the separation he needs. There is no doubt in my mind that Isabella would be the perfect weapon for Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ offense. The only problem is that rather than waiting until the 5th Round, the Lions will likely have to take him in the fourth since the hype is high.
From The Draft Network:
Andy Isabella is a player who has a much more prominent pathway to NFL success after the rule changes in recent seasons. A diminutive, non-physical player, Isabella wins with quickness and thrives in space. His best role would be as a slot/depth option on a team that looks to space the field and isolate their athletes one on one. Passing systems like the ones in KC and SF come to mind as specific favorable fits.
Round 5 (No. 147 overall) Miles Sanders (RB) – Penn State
Kerryon Johnson looks like the real deal if Kerryon Johnson can stay healthy. Unfortunately, even going back to his days at Auburn, Johnson has not proven he can stay on the field for a full season. In today’s NFL, it is a nice advantage to have a pair of running backs to shoulder the load and Miles Sanders could be the guy to give Johnson a hand. Though he was overshadowed in his first two seasons at Penn State by a guy named Saquon Barkley, Johnson rushed for 1,274 yards (5.8 ypc) in 2018, proving he can get the job done.
Miles Sanders entered Penn State as the top-ranked RB in the 2016 recruiting class. The Pennsylvania native stayed in state despite offers from all the top schools in the country. Through his first two seasons at Penn State, he only saw 56 carries due to being stuck behind Saquon Barkley. In that small sample size, Sanders fumbled the ball 5 times and lost 3 of them. Fumbles continued to be an issue once he took over the starting RB role in 2018, he fumbled 5 times losing 4 of them. Sanders’ junior season was a long-awaited breakout. He tallied over 1,200 rushing yards along with 24 receptions.
Sanders is a very thick built RB, his legs are thick and provide him with a nice power base. His legs almost rival that of his former teammate Saquon Barkley. Sanders is a powerful runner that also has great ability to juke and make defenders miss. He has the strength to power through arm tackles and take defenders head on. Sanders has the power to run through defenders and gain additional yards. Along with being powerful, he is a very shifty runner. On a number of occasions, Sanders has almost juked an entire defense on large chunk plays. He is very good laterally but can get out of control trying to juke too many defenders and lose yards. He’s proven adequate in the short passing game.
Sanders is lacking a true elite gear. He misses out on some long TD runs due to not having that elite gear to pull away from defenders. He’s more than fast enough to contribute at the NFL but the big explosive plays won’t be where Sanders makes his money.
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