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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Senior Bowl edition


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

Senior Bowl week is upon us and since the Detroit Lions managed to finish with the third-worst record in the NFL, they have been selected to coach the North team.

This is a week where many seniors from across the country will have a golden opportunity to show NFL coaches and GMs that they have what it takes to play at the next level

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That being said, I figured now would be the perfect time to publish my first Detroit Lions
“perfect” mock draft of the season.

Now, unlike some people out there, I do not claim to be an expert. Instead, I am just a huge fan who just so happens to believe to know what the Lions’ biggest needs are and which available prospects can fill those needs.

*Remember, this is NOT what I think Lions’ GM Bob Quinn WILL do in the upcoming draft, it is what I think he SHOULD do. Also, these picks are based on the Lions’ current needs. They are bound to change, depending on what the Lions do in free agency. I do believe the Lions will address their offensive line and backup QB position via free agency.

That being said, here is my final crack at what I believe the “perfect” Detroit Lions’ draft would look like. I used The Draft Network “Mock Draft Machine” to keep me honest!

Round 1 – Jeffrey Okudah (CB) Ohio State

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Jeff Okudah is going to be a star at the NFL level — there’s no coverage he can’t play, no role he can’t fill in the secondary. Okudah pairs prototypical size with trust in his technique and dynamic movement skills and should be a lockdown cornerback at the NFL level in just about any system. This is a top of the 1st-round caliber player that will excel in man or zone and can be used to mirror and erase the opposition’s best receiver in the NFL. A future Pro Bowl/All-Pro player. -Via The Draft Network

Round 2 – Julian Okwara (EDGE) Notre Dame

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Julian Okwara projects as a potential starter as a rush linebacker at the NFL level. Okwara’s functional athleticism and burst off the edge can be a potent weapon in an offense where he can serve as the complimentary rusher and attack in 1 on 1 situations. Okwara’s lack of power components can restrict his effectiveness if additional attention is directed his way in pass protection but his pure speed components from wide alignments will garner pressure. -Via The Draft Network

Round 3 – Devin Duvernay (WR) Texas

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Ladies and gentlemen, we introduce to you, Devin Duvernay.

Duvernay is a wide receiver who I absolutely LOVE and I expect for him to emerge as a solid draft pick as he goes through his Senior Bowl practices.

He is a wide receiver who has game-breaking speed and can stretch the field. In addition, he does a great job of racking up YAC yardage.

If the Lions can snag Duvernay in the third round, Lions fans should be extremely happy.

Round 4 – Josh Uche (EDGE) Michigan

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Wicked quick and bendy outside rusher with the potential of a top riser in this upcoming draft class. Situational rusher in 2018 who stepped into a major role in 2019 as a move piece with great versatility in terms of the gaps he won from. Effective from a two-point stance, either as a Wide-9 outside rusher or interior shooter. Flashes the ability to flip his hips on the top of the arc and has a strong first step to immediately challenge tackle depth. Incorporates a two-handed swipe to keep outside shoulder clear and present a soft edge to the quarterback. Bend around the edge is silly stupid at times — ankles are ball-in-socket joints and knees work at austere angles. Has the length and strength to finish at bad angles, turning pressures into sacks. Inside counters present with an off-speed pitch when tackles over-set — has the quickness to dart into the B-gap at will. Speed-to-power rush is coming along nicely and is a new addition to 2019 film. -Via The Draft Network

Round 5 – Shaquille Quarterman (ILB) Miami

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Shaq Quarterman is old school! This is a violent hitter in the middle who thrives in run defending and blitzing as a forward playing linebacker who imposes his will on the opposition. Terrific finisher as a tackler and tremendous pop in his pads. His pass coverage contributions will be minimal due to his lack of range, but teams in need of some *THUD* in run support would be wise to scoop him up. Savvy to help mask his physical restrictions but at his core he’s an early down LB.  -Via The Draft Network

Round 6 – Michael Onwenu (IOL) Michigan

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Pros: Incredible athlete for his size, as he’s built like a boulder at 6’3 and 350 pounds. Multi-year starter entering his senior season. Even with his size, he’s able to reach defensive lineman with impressive lateral mobility. When he’s able to get into the pads of defensive lineman, he dominates the point of attack. On pulls, Onwenu is able to log defensive ends and create a soft edge. Easily has the requisite strength in his lower-half for the next level, and that power is shown in his pass sets and anchor. Plays with a natural leverage due to his build, but has nice flexibility for his size as well.

Cons: Appears to have shorter arms, which can limit the amount of time he’s able to get underneath the pads of opposing defensive lineman. While he’s able to attack up to the next level, he lacks strength in his engagements. More athletic linebackers do a good job of avoiding him in space if Onwenu isn’t able to take them on square. -Via The Draft Network

Round 6 – Justin Herron (OT) Wake Forest

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Pros – Herron has the length needed to win outside in the NFL and he effectively uses it to elongate his opponents path to the quarterback. He punches with fairly consistent timing and does well to get his hands placed in pass protection. He flashes the ability to frame pass rushers initially and did not allow a sack in 2017. He is capable of bowing his back and dropping his anchor to absorb power. Herron has positive moments in space, connecting with moving targets and arriving on time. Length and mobility are the appeal here.

Cons – As a run blocker, Herron has modest power at the point of attack but his inability to consistently fit his hands and accelerate his feet makes it difficult to create space in the run game. Overall, his body control is below average as a result of a narrow base and folding at the waste. More of a positional blocker that may be restrictive with scheme fits. Missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL. -Via The Draft Network

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