Coming off an outstanding, progressive season that saw the first Detroit postseason appearance since 2011, the Lions look to improve upon their 2014 campaign and make the playoffs in consecutive seasons since ’93, ’94, and ’95. They will also look to win their first playoff game since 1991- their only postseason victory after the AFL-NFL merge. After a mostly quiet free agency period, the Lions will need to fill their remaining holes through the draft. Detroit has seen some decent success in the first round of the draft throughout history, with some of their most notable draftees being Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson Jr, Ndamukong Suh, and Matthew Stafford. The last time they had the 23rd pick was in 1961, and they used it on offensive tackle Dan LaRose, who only stayed in Detroit for three years with little success. Back then, the 23rd pick was in the second round. Will the Lions have better luck 51 years later in a very deep draft class?
A’shawn Robinsom DT Alabama
With Ndamukong Suh in Miami under a super-lucrative contract, the Lions acquired Haloti Ngata from the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. While Ngata is very talented, he is over the age of 30 and is a current free agent. The Lions would greatly benefit from drafting a promising defensive tackle to replace him and bolster the defensive line. Enter Robinson, the 6’4”, 320-pound monster out of Alabama, who is an immensely athletic, yet raw prospect that could use a year or two to sit on the bench and learn.
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
It’s no secret that the Lions need some help in their wide receiver position. With Calvin Johnson calling it quits, the Lions are in serious trouble with their receiving corps. Although Golden Tate has said he would be more than willing to carry the load of a number one receiver, the Lions would be smart to draft another lethal wide receiver. A potential option would be Ole Miss prospect, Laquon Treadwell, a physically dominate receiver who stands at 6’3″. Although receivers often struggle in their first year in the adjustment to the NFL, Treadwel could make an impact for years to come.
Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
The offensive line was a huge liability for the Detroit Lions offense in 2015. Matthew Stafford was under constant pressure that resulted in sacks and very few points. Although the Lions offensive line improved under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, the Lions front office would still be wise to add to the o-line and draft Taylor Decker, a 6’7″ offensive tackle out of Ohio State.