The 2o19 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books and it is time to begin looking towards free agency.
After letting Eric Ebron walk and whiffing on Rob Gronkowski in 2018, the Detroit Lions were forced to go into the season with one of the worst tight end stables in the NFL.
Now, Lions GM Bob Quinn is charged with the task of rebuilding the TE unit and that means adding a couple to the roster, whether it be through free agency and/or the NFL Draft.
At this point, I believe the best plan will be to add a veteran TE via free agency and then to snag one of the top 3 available in the draft. Currently, I think the right move would be to grab Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama in the second round.
That being said, a report has surfaced that the Lions will meet with former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen, who was recently released.
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 6, 2019
Allen, who just turned 29, has played seven seasons in the league, catching a total of 139 passes for 1,564 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 2018, he played 13 games (8 starts) for the Patriots where he caught just three passes for 27 yards.
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.
- Edge Rusher
- Tight End
- Wide Receiver
- 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.
To read the rest of the mock draft, please click on the link below.