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BREAKING: Former Detroit Lions’ Pro Bowl LB Mike Cofer dies

According to reports, former Detroit Lions Pro Bowl player Mike Cofer has died.

From Detroit Free Press:

Florida State forward Phil Cofer received a phone call from his family after the team’s 76-69 victory over Vermont and learned that his father had died.

Florida State athletic department spokesman Chuck Walsh says Mike Cofer, a former Pro Bowl linebacker with the Detroit Lions, had been suffering from a long illness.

Mike Cofer had suffered from an uncommon disease that affects organs and tissue.

Cofer, who was 58, played mostly linebacker for the Lions from 1983-1992. He was selected to play in the NFL Pro Bowl following the 1988 season after he racked up a career-best 12 sacks.

BONUS CONTENT:

Full Detroit Lions 2019 ‘Perfect’ NFL Mock Draft Vol. 2

The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is just about in the books, the prospect measurables are in, and it’s time to put together another mock draft based on the Detroit Lions current roster situation.

You are going to see a ton of mock drafts out there but it is ultra-important to remember that free agency has not even started and that will largely determine how NFL teams attack the NFL Draft.

That being said, the Lions biggest needs as we speak (in my opinion) rank as follows.

  1. Edge Rusher
  2. Cornerback
  3. Tight End
  4. Wide Receiver
  5. Running Back

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what the Detroit Lions 2019 ‘Perfect’ NFL Draft would look like.

Round 1, Pick 8

Ed Oliver (DL) Houston

I have said for a long time that I would absolutely love for the Lions to take Michigan DL Rashan Gary with their first round pick but I honestly do not see him falling to No 8.

That being said, there are a plethora of talented players at the top of this draft and if the Lions can land Ed Oliver out of Houston, they will have done well for themselves.

From The Draft Network:

PROS: Ed Oliver is one of the most athletic interior defensive linemen I’ve ever scouted. Has movement skills and agility that are just off the charts. Makes plays away from his initial gap that are jaw-dropping. Range of a linebacker. First step to beat anyone. Explosive and sudden in all his movements, easily able to redirect and keep blockers off balance. Always plays low and leveraged, with elite pad level and hand placement to drive through opponents. Creates an insane push off the snap and typically re-sets the line of scrimmage. Power to bull rush and the quickness to win the edge. Excellent bend to turn tight corners to the quarterback. Can backdoor gaps and still make plays. Incredible motor and will chase down plays from everywhere. Never takes a play off. Gets in on stops other defensive tackles couldn’t dream of being a part of.

CONS: Cheats his assignment at times. Gets upfield in a hurry and can sometimes widen his gap as a result. Doesn’t have great length and will get chest-to-chest with opponents at times. Repertoire of moves could be deeper. Wins more with athletic ability and raw power than refined hand usage. Will spin to get off blocks at times, turning his back to the line of scrimmage. Rumors are he plays at sub-280, which could concern teams projecting him out against better/bigger competition.

Round 2, Pick 11 (43 overall)

Irv Smith Jr. (TE) Alabama

The Detroit Lions absolutely must take a tight end early in the 2019 NFL draft but they absolutely should not use their No. 8 pick in the first round on one. What they should do is hold off into the second round and grab Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama.

Smith Jr. is a tight end who can make 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, Pick 25 (88 overall) — From Philadelphia

Justin Layne (CB) Michigan State

The Lions currently have Darius Slay locking down one side of the field but after that, there is not much to call home about. Adding another formidable CB to the mix could work wonders for a Lions defense that absolutely must improve in 2019.

Enter Justin Layne out of Michigan State. Layne is long and he has the physical attributes to be a solid NFL cornerback. I honestly would not be surprised at all to see Layne move up into the second round, but if he slides to the third, the Lions should be all over him.

From Cover 1:

Strengths

  • Physical press corner who wins with aggressiveness
  • Long arms instantly stand out when watching him on film
  • Great ability to come up and help in run support. Has no issues sticking his nose into contact
  • Has ideal ball skills and wins with length
  • Jumps routes early and often with fluid footwork
  • Can pattern match and get in the hip pocket of receivers that aren’t true speedsters
  • Shows ideal flexibility when changing direction but still stiff in the hips

Weaknesses

  • Hip fluidity will be his biggest question mark when turning upfield
  • Long speed has been an issue; struggled against true speedsters
  • Tends to get too grabby downfield, especially in the red zone

To read the rest, please click on the link below.

Full Detroit Lions 2019 ‘Perfect’ NFL Mock Draft Vol. 2

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Written by Don Drysdale

I am a fan of all Detroit sports and LOVE to write about them!

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