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FREE AGENT REPORT: Detroit Lions to meet with former Patriots’ TE Dwayne Allen

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

To read the rest of the mock draft, please click on the link below.

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

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JUST IN: Free agent DL gets tryout with Detroit Lions

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According to Howard Balzer, the Detroit Lions reportedly held a tryout for DL Geneo Grissom.

Grissom played for the Patriots and Colts in 2018.

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Detroit Lions’ GM Bob Quinn asked about contingency plan for starting season without Matthew Stafford

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NFL: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

There are more important things that football and one of those things is family.

For Detroit Lions‘ quarterback Matthew Stafford, his family has always been at the top of his list and it most certainly is now as his wife Kelly was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons

Nov 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with wife Kelly Stafford during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly recently announced she had a brain tumor which required surgery. On Wednesday, that surgery reportedly took place, according to an Instagram post by her brother Chad.

The Lions held voluntary workouts this week and one player who was understandably absent was Matthew Stafford.

Stafford, of course, is giving 100% of his time to Kelly and his children, which is what he should be doing.

On Thursday, Lions’ GM Bob Quinn held a pre-draft press conference and he was asked whether or not he had talked to Matthew about Kelly’s situation.

From Detroit News:

“I have a lot of conversations with Matt over the past couple weeks,” Quinn said. “I would say my prayers and the organization’s prayers are with him and his family, with Kelly’s situation. Out of respect for his (wishes), he wants to kind of keep everything private, so I’m going to leave it at that.”

Quinn was also asked about if he needed to make a contingency plan in case Stafford were to miss extended time.

“Nope,” Quinn replied.

BONUS CONTENT:

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

It has been a marathon but we are almost to the promised land which is the 2019 NFL Draft!

After hours and hours of research, all of the so-called “experts” will soon be unveiling their final mock draft of the season and none of them will end up being correct.

I, on the other hand, do not claim to be an expert. Instead, I am just a huge fan of the Detroit Lions who happens to believe to know what the Lions’ biggest needs are and which available prospects can fill those needs.

That being said, here is my final crack at what I believe the “perfect” Detroit Lions’ draft would look like.

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.

Round 1, Pick 8

Ed Oliver (DL) Houston

I absolutely LOVE Ed Oliver if he is available when the Detroit Lions are on the clock with the No. 8 pick in the first round of the draft. Whether or not he will be available is the big question.

Oliver is an absolute beast and he could come in and make an immediate impact for a Lions defense that should be greatly improved in 2019.

From Dane Brugler (The Athletic):

STRENGTHS: Fluid body control to wriggle off blocks…excellent foot quickness and change of direction skills…shot out of a cannon with his first step…forces holding penalties due to his gap quickness…creates knockback with his speed-to-power skills…ball awareness to track through blocks…uses natural leverage to stay underneath the pads of blockers…better than expected play strength as a run defender…highly aggressive motor and effort never wanes, chasing down plays near the sidelines…dominated from the moment he stepped onto campus and leaves as a three-time All-American, collecting 54.0 tackles for loss over 33 career starts.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks desired frame and length…needs to continue and develop his body and stay in the 280-285 pound range (weighed 274 for most of his final season at Houston)…relied more on motor than brute power to overwhelm blockers in college…not a bull rusher…undeveloped approach with his hands…below- average counter measures once locked up…faced inferior competition in the AAC…several immature moments in college, including an on-field altercation with head coach Major Applewhite regarding a coat issue on the sideline — Oliver has a “young attitude” and has “growing up to do,” according to an NFL scout…missed five games as a junior with a right knee bruise (November 2018) and was limited at the combine with a strained hamstring (February 2019).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Houston, Oliver was one of college football’s most disruptive players over the last three years, spending most of his time at nose tackle for the Cougars. With his football flexibility and natural biomechanics, he has rare athletic ability for the position with the backfield vision to recognize play designs and disrupt from different angles. Oliver still requires time to develop his body, mind and technique at the next level. He will struggle with long-armed blockers who get to his frame and control his chest, but his energy and motor are both elite. Overall, Oliver won’t be a natural fit for every NFL scheme, but he is an ideal one-gap penetrator due to his athleticism, instincts and relentless nature, projecting best when he is lined up closest to the football.

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BREAKING: NFL announces they will have cameras in 23 NFL Draft War Rooms

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NFL fans will have the privilege of checking out NFL GMs live throughout the 2019 NFL Draft as the league has announced they will feature draft ‘War Room’ cameras in 23 team facilities.

One of the War Rooms featured will be that of the Detroit Lions.

The next step will be to have a channel dedicated to each team so fans can watch what is going on in the War Room at all times!


BONUS CONTENT:

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

It has been a marathon but we are almost to the promised land which is the 2019 NFL Draft!

After hours and hours of research, all of the so-called “experts” will soon be unveiling their final mock draft of the season and none of them will end up being correct.

I, on the other hand, do not claim to be an expert. Instead, I am just a huge fan of the Detroit Lions who happens to believe to know what the Lions’ biggest needs are and which available prospects can fill those needs.

That being said, here is my final crack at what I believe the “perfect” Detroit Lions’ draft would look like.

*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.

Round 1, Pick 8

Ed Oliver (DL) Houston

I absolutely LOVE Ed Oliver if he is available when the Detroit Lions are on the clock with the No. 8 pick in the first round of the draft. Whether or not he will be available is the big question.

Oliver is an absolute beast and he could come in and make an immediate impact for a Lions defense that should be greatly improved in 2019.

From Dane Brugler (The Athletic):

STRENGTHS: Fluid body control to wriggle off blocks…excellent foot quickness and change of direction skills…shot out of a cannon with his first step…forces holding penalties due to his gap quickness…creates knockback with his speed-to-power skills…ball awareness to track through blocks…uses natural leverage to stay underneath the pads of blockers…better than expected play strength as a run defender…highly aggressive motor and effort never wanes, chasing down plays near the sidelines…dominated from the moment he stepped onto campus and leaves as a three-time All-American, collecting 54.0 tackles for loss over 33 career starts.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks desired frame and length…needs to continue and develop his body and stay in the 280-285 pound range (weighed 274 for most of his final season at Houston)…relied more on motor than brute power to overwhelm blockers in college…not a bull rusher…undeveloped approach with his hands…below- average counter measures once locked up…faced inferior competition in the AAC…several immature moments in college, including an on-field altercation with head coach Major Applewhite regarding a coat issue on the sideline — Oliver has a “young attitude” and has “growing up to do,” according to an NFL scout…missed five games as a junior with a right knee bruise (November 2018) and was limited at the combine with a strained hamstring (February 2019).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Houston, Oliver was one of college football’s most disruptive players over the last three years, spending most of his time at nose tackle for the Cougars. With his football flexibility and natural biomechanics, he has rare athletic ability for the position with the backfield vision to recognize play designs and disrupt from different angles. Oliver still requires time to develop his body, mind and technique at the next level. He will struggle with long-armed blockers who get to his frame and control his chest, but his energy and motor are both elite. Overall, Oliver won’t be a natural fit for every NFL scheme, but he is an ideal one-gap penetrator due to his athleticism, instincts and relentless nature, projecting best when he is lined up closest to the football.

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