As the Detroit Lions wrap up their 2017 regular season, we have begun evaluating the roster and as you can imagine, the team has quite a few weaknesses on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Obviously, free agency could change things, but as of now, here is what we believe the 2018 Detroit Lions perfect draft would look like. For the purposes of this piece, we will assume the Lions are drafting somewhere around the No. 20 position.
*Note: The Lions currently do not have a 6th or 7th round pick.
Round 1 – Clelin Ferrell (DE) – Clemson
In my opinion, the Detroit Lions SHOULD NOT re-sign defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. He will cost way too much money and considering his lack of production, the Lions would be better suited to find a talented pass rusher in the NFL Draft. Not to mention, finding a defensive end should be the Lions No. 1 priority this offseason.
The perfect fit would DE Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson. In 13 games this season with the Tigers, Ferrell has racked up 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss.
Round 2 – Da'Ron Payne (DT) – Alabama
Another HUGE position of need for the Lions is defensive tackle. With Haloti Ngata likely being gone, the Lions have A'Shawn Robinson and then a bunch of nothing at the defensive tackle position.
The perfect scenario for the Lions would be if Da'Ron Payne was available when they selected in the second round. Payne is not only powerful, but he is athletic and could immediately start along Robinson on the defensive line.
Round 3 – Frank Ragnow (C) – Arkansas
News flash: The Detroit Lions offensive line needs help!
As we know, the Lions do not have a running game and part of that is because of the interior of the offensive line. Upgrading the center position could be the first step in improving the running game and Frank Ragnow could be the perfect fit.
Ragnow has been out of commission since late October with an injured ankle but he should be good to go by the time the Senior Bowl and NFL Draft Combine roll around. At 6-feet-4, the Arkansas center could be just what the doctor ordered for the Lions.
Round 4 – KC McDermott (G) – Miami
Sticking to the offensive line woes, KC McDermott out of the University of Miami could end up competing at left guard with Graham Glasgow.
This may end up being a position that Lions general manager Bob Quinn addresses in free agency, but McDermott could be a player the Lions end up loving as the 2018 regular season unfolds.
Round 5 – Tavarus McFadden (CB) – Florida State
The Detroit Lions have Darius Slay and Glover Quin, but after that, I am not as high on the secondary as some. If the Lions can find the right cornerback to play alongside Slay, the pass defense would improve immediately.
Like the offensive guard positon, the Lions could look to snag a cornerback in free agency, but if not, Tavarus McFadden could be a player who ends up outperforming where he is drafted.