The 2017 NFL Draft will be an event to remember, not many times do we get a draft class this deep. Oddly enough, the quarterback position is the weakest class of them all. However, we still expect to see at the very least two quarterbacks selected day one. These three days are unpredictable, and even when we think we know, we don’t.
The Detroit Lions enter day one at the back half of the pack, sitting at 21 overall in the first round. They should be in an exceptional location to still grab some notable talent later in the first round. With needs at linebacker, defensive end, running back and receiver, they should have their choice at their draft spot.
Be that as it may, the draft does not go every team’s way. Here are some scenarios that can bode well or not so well for this Lions team.
Best Case Scenarios
Reuben Foster Falls
An easy pick. Reuben Foster is a top ten pick and will command a lot of attention if he falls beyond fifteen in this draft. The Alabama linebacker is the perfect fit for Detroit; he is very athletic and can cover sideline to sideline. His red flag comes with his off the field issues, but his talent has kept him on team’s boards; if he’s available at 21 don’t be surprised when the Lions draft him.
Taco Charlton, Charles Harris, and Takk McKinley are all still available
This would be somewhat of a dream scenario for a Lions team desperate to find another pass rusher. The likelihood of all three of these prospects being on the board at 21 are very slim. However, if they are, Detroit will have their pick of the defensive end they want to bring onto their roster. There’s virtually no wrong pick with all three of these guys; it primarily falls on the preference of Lions coaching and management.
Lions trade back and still get their target
Who exactly is the Lions target? No one outside of the war room truly knows, but if the team is willing to move back, they must be confident they can still get who they want. Moving back and adding picks while guys like Jarrad Davis, Alvin Kamara, or whoever is still on the board is a win for this Lions team. The team is in possession of eight draft picks currently and would love to gain a few more if they don’t miss out on a guy they covet.
Worst Case Scenarios
Top Defensive Targets are gone
In the event the twenty teams select all of the Lions’ expected targets, and they will then need to improvise. If the top defensive ends and linebackers have been selected, it could put Detroit in a situation where they will need to reach for a player who doesn’t have a first-round grade. Though that has been successful in the past every so often, it isn’t an ideal situation for a Lions team in search of top defensive talent. Fortunately, this draft class is deep. However, it would sting slightly to see the Lions snag a second-round guy at 21.
Lions Take a WR Round 1
The wide receivers available in the draft this year spill talent far into day two and even day three. John Ross III is an exceptional player, and he is expected to be on the board still when the Lions pick. That should not be an option for Detroit. Much like Ross, the Lions can find themselves a good receiver in round two, three, or four if they have done their homework. The needs of this team lie primarily on defense, but the Lions will benefit from grabbing another weapon in the passing and running game. However, it’s not a big enough need to justify grabbing a skill position player in the first.
Another Team Trades above Detroit to take a Lions Target
It happens every year, one team falls in love with a particular player and must trade above other teams to make sure they secure him. This year, nearly every team behind Detroit will be on the hunt for a linebacker or defensive lineman. If a team at 18, 19 or 20 is willing to play ball with one of them, the Lions may be in trouble. These are professionals, however, and they will have a plan from A-Z. However, that still does not fix the issue if all of the top prospects are gone.
Draft day is a roller coaster ride of emotions for fans, players, and coaches during the process. Detroit fans have learned the feeling on both sides of that spectrum. Depending on their decisions, the Lions have potentially a great chance to gain some serious talent in this deep draft class.