On Thursday night, Lions general manager Bob Quinn will have his first opportunity to run an NFL Draft. It just so happens to be a draft that could be the most important in Detroit Lions team history. We have compiled what we believe will be the ‘Perfect’ NFL Draft outcome for the Lions, all seven rounds, and all 10 picks. Now we just have to get Quinn to read this!
So far, Quinn has used free agency to add depth to the Lions roster, which makes the draft that much more important. The Lions have numerous holes both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball and adding a few starters via the draft will be crucial to their success in 2016.
With 10 picks, things could get very interesting as the NFL Draft begins to unfold for the Lions. Will they trade up to get their guy? Will they trade down to acquire even more draft picks? Time will tell, but you can count on something happening by the time all is said and done.
Lions fans, we give to you our Final volume of the Detroit Lions Perfect 2016 NFL Draft: Every pick revealed.
Round 1 (16th overall) – Kevin Dodd (DE) – Clemson
Unfortunately, Bob Quinn failed to address the offensive line in free agency and now the Lions are in a bind. By the time they are on the clock at No. 16, it is likely that the top OT’s will already be off the board and Quinn will either have to trade up, roll the dice on either Jack Conklin or Taylor Decker (neither whom can fill the LT need), or look at drafting another position.
Assuming the Lions do not trade up, they should take the best defensive end still available and that will be Kevin Dodd out of Clemson. Many experts rank Dodd’s teammate, Shaq Lawson ahead of him, but I feel that Dodd will be the better pro. If the Lions are able to add a top notch DE in the first round, quarterbacks around the league will be put on high alert. Just imagine Ziggy Ansah on one side and Kevin Dodd on the other!
Round 2 (46th overall) – Jason Spriggs (OT) – Indiana
As I have established, the Lions are in need of an offensive lineman and it would be in their best interest to take one in the second round. Most draft gurus have Conklin and Decker ranked ahead of Jason Spriggs, but Spriggs could be the one most ready to play LT in the NFL.
If the Lions do select Spriggs, they will have to hope that he develops quickly so that he can take over the LT duties as soon as possible, allowing Riley Reiff to move over to the right side.
Round 3 (95th overall) – Scooby Wright III (ILB) – Arizona
Let me just say that there is something about Scooby Wright III that I just love. Prior to being injured at Arizona, he was considered to be one of the best linebackers in the nation and given time he could be that in the NFL.
The Lions could use a middle linebacker and Wright could step right in and be a difference maker. He will have to get used to the speed of the NFL, but Wright has great football instincts and has a nose for the football. If Wright is available and the Lions pass on him, they will sorely regret it.
Round 4 (111th overall) – Aaron Burbridge (WR) – Michigan State
Calvin Johnson cannot be replaced. Period.
That being said, the Lions have to make sure they have weapons in place for Matthew Stafford. Aaron Burbridge is not going to present the matchup problems that Johnson did, but he could be a very reliable receiver to can move the chains for the Lions offense.
During his senior year at Michigan State, Burbridge had 85 catches for 1,258 yards and showed that he had the hands and route-running ability to play at the next level. Look for Burbridge to emerge as one of the top receivers in the Class of 2016.
Round 5 (151st overall) – Deiondre’ Hall (CB) – Northern Iowa
Lions cornerback Darius Slay has emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, but he cannot shut down the passing game on his own. Expect the Lions to select at least one cornerback in the NFL Draft and Deiondre’ Hall could be the first one they take.
Despite playing at Northern Iowa, Hall has gained the attention of NFL scouts because of his size and ability to play press-coverage. Hall ran a slow 40-time at the combine (4.68 seconds) and that may be enough to allow him to drop to the Lions in the 5th round.
Round 5 (169th overall) – Graham Glasgow (C) – Michigan
The Detroit Lions can use a center and Graham Glasgow has proven to NFL scouts that he can play that position in the NFL. If the Lions do select Glasgow, do not expect him to start out of the gates, but given time, he could eventually grow into a starter.
Glasgow was under-the-radar until he was one of the standouts during the East-West Shrine week. He likely will be a center in the NFL, but could also play guard if needed. Because of that versatility, Glasgow would be a great selection for the Lions.
Round 6 (191st overall) – Jayron Kearse (SS) – Clemson
Glover Quin is already penciled in as the starting free safety on the Detroit Lions, but the strong safety position is one that needs an upgrade. Jayron Kearse out of Clemson could slip to the sixth round and if he does, the Lions have to snatch him up.
One knock on Kearse was that he was a bit inconsistent, but he has the talent to evolve into a contributor at the NFL level. Though it would be doubtful that Kearse starts at the SS position out of the gates, he could challenge for the position.
Round 6 (202 overall) – Vincent Valentine (DT) – Nebraska
Defensive tackle is a position the Lions have some depth at heading into 2016, but they could always use more. Haloti Ngata won’t be around forever and will have to be replaced. Vincent Valentine out of Nebraska is a player who will likely be a backup in the league, at least for the first couple of years, but give the right situation he could be a nice surprise.
Though Valentine did not impress many at the combine and probably should have returned to school to improve his strength, he has upside and that is all anyone can ask for this late in the draft.
Round 6 (210 overall) – Kevin Hogan (QB) – Stanford
Bob Quinn has made it clear that drafting a quarterback at least every other year is extremely important in the NFL. He also made it clear that Matthew Stafford has job security in Detroit, so don’t expect the Lions to select a quarterback before the 6th round.
Kevin Hogan is a guy the Lions have kept a close eye on and if he is available when they pick in the 6th round, expect them to pull the trigger. Hogan would immediately challenge Dan Orlovsky for the backup job in Detroit.
Round 7 (236 overall) – Darius Jackson (RB) – Eastern Michigan
The Lions seem to have a stable of running backs heading into the 2016 regular season, but not one has proven that he can be an every down back in the NFL. Hopefully, second-year RB Ameer Abdullah emerges as that guy in 2016, but only time will tell.
Darius Jackson WILL be a starting running back in the NFL within the next few years. He is extremely athletic and just needs a bit of seasoning to get used the game at the next level. When we look back in a few years we will be amazed that Jackson was a 7th round selection.