With the first wave of NFL free agency just about in the books, it is just about time to shift our full attention to the 2019 NFL Draft.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn attacked free agency as if the upcoming season is extremely important for his job security and he is probably right. That being said, Quinn’s offseason job is is far from complete as the Lions still have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball as the NFL Draft approaches.
Let’s take a look at the Lions’ top 5 needs that must be addressed in the NFL Draft.
Prior to the start of the 2018 season, the Lions made the decision to part ways with Eric Ebron. Though many loved the move, there were some (me) that felt like losing Ebron would end up hurting the offense and that’s exactly what happened.
This offseason, Bob Quinn signed free agent Jesse James but he is not a tight end who is going to stretch the field and that is what the Lions still need. I would be pretty surprised if Quinn does not pull the trigger on a tight end prior to the end of Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola. Some Lions’ fans look at that trio and get excited but I look at them as a bottom-half receiver unit in the NFL that will not be together past this season.
Of the three, Golladay will likely be the only one back in 2020 which means the Lions will have to begin to think about the future.
Personally, I would be VERY surprised if the Lions selected a WR in the first round but do not be surprised if they grab one before Day 3.
One of the biggest needs this offseason was to acquire a cornerback to play on the outside, opposite Darius Slay. The Lions did sign Justin Coleman to a big contract but he seems more fit to play in the slot than the outside.
If Bob Quinn can identify the right guy in the draft to play on the outside, the Lions secondary could be EXTREMELY improved from a year ago. My hope is they grab either David Long (Michigan) or Justin Layne (MSU) in the second round.
T.J. Lang is out of the picture and the Lions have not yet made a move to replace him at right guard.
Sure, they could probably survive by letting Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins battle for the starting gig but in a perfect world, it does not come down to that.
As I said above, my hope is that the Lions can grab David Long or Justin Layne in the second round but if not, do not be at all surprised if they go with guard Chris Lindstrom out of Boston College.
If Matthew Stafford goes down with an injury, the Detroit Lions have a very small chance of winning an NFL game.
That being said, if you think Bob Quinn is planning on rolling with Connor Cook as Stafford’s backup, you have lost your damn mind.
Though finding a veteran free agent quarterback is possible, it makes much more sense financially to grab a backup signal-caller in the mid to late rounds of the draft.