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2015 NFL Draft: Best available players for Lions on Day 2

There's still a lot of talent left for the Detroit Lions on the second day of the 2015 NFL Draft. Let's examine who might be a good fit for them.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2015 NFL Draft, offensive guard was one of the Detroit Lions' biggest needs considering they didn't have a single left guard on their roster. To rectify that situation, the Lions not only traded for offensive guard/center Manny Ramirez, but they also spent the 28th overall pick on Duke offensive guard Laken Tomlinson. Following those moves, the guard position is pretty much set, meaning the Lions can turn their attention to other needs on Day 2 of the draft.

Speaking of those other needs, the Lions could use a running back, defensive tackle and cornerback over the next two rounds. Considering the Lions only have two picks -- the 54th (second round) and 88th (third round) overall selections -- they won't be able to hit on all three of these needs on Friday barring a trade. However, there is a lot of talent still on the board at all three of those positions, so whichever direction the Lions go on Friday, they should be able to get a couple of really good players.

Who might the Lions target? Via SB Nation, here's a look at the best available players on Day 2 of the draft at the Lions' positions of need:

Primary needs

Running back

37. Jay Ajayi (Boise State)
47. Tevin Coleman (Indiana)
55. Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)
74. Duke Johnson (Miami FL)
75. T.J. Yeldon (Alabama)

The best-case scenario here would be for either Ajayi or Coleman to fall to the Lions in the second round. If that doesn't happen, they could still take a running back like Johnson with the 54th pick, but at that point there might be more value in waiting until the third round or later to address this particular need.

Defensive tackle

13. Eddie Goldman (Florida State)
38. Jordan Phillips (Oklahoma)
41. Carl Davis (Iowa)
45. Michael Bennett (Ohio State)
56. Grady Jarrett (Clemson)

There is a lot of good value still on the board at defensive tackle, to say the least. If there's a run on DTs before the Lions' second-round pick, then that value may be diminished when they go back on the clock, but they should be in position to add a talented DT in Round 2.


32. P.J. Williams (Florida State)
33. Jalen Collins (LSU)
52. Quinten Rollins (Miami OH)
59. Ronald Darby (Florida State)
62. Alex Carter (Stanford)

The value here doesn't seem to be quite as strong as running back and defensive tackle, but there is still some solid talent on the board at cornerback. I don't view CB as quite as pressing of a need as RB and DT, but perhaps the best player available at No. 54 will end up being a corner.

Secondary needs

Wide receiver

17. Dorial Green-Beckham (Oklahoma)
28. Jaelen Strong (Arizona State)
48. Devin Smith (Ohio State)
54. Devin Funchess (Michigan)
81. Sammie Coates (Auburn)

I can't envision the Lions taking a wide receiver unless he can also contribute as a returner, but I suppose you can never say never. If Strong or Smith shockingly fell all the way to No. 54, it might be tough to pass up on that kind of talent.

Offensive tackle

12. La'el Collins (LSU)
22. T.J. Clemmings (Pittsburgh)
44. Jake Fisher (Oregon)
80. Daryl Williams (Oklahoma)
83. Ali Marpet (Hobart)

If the Lions really want to strengthen their O-line, they could follow up the Tomlinson pick by taking a tackle. I can't imagine Clemmings or Fisher will make it all the way to the 54th pick, but Collins will probably still be on the board. Actually, Collins may not even get drafted at all with him being connected to a murder investigation. He's not believed to be a suspect, but unless Collins is completely cleared in the next couple of days, it's going to be tough for any team to risk a pick on him, let alone one in the second round. I personally think there would be value in taking a chance on Collins on Day 3 if he's still available, but Day 2 is just too early for me with so much uncertainty surrounding his whole situation.

Defensive end

5. Randy Gregory (Nebraska)
31. Owamagbe Odighizuwa (UCLA)
35. Preston Smith (Mississippi State)
50. Markus Golden (Missouri)
57. Eli Harold (Virginia)

There are a lot of character concerns surrounding Gregory, leading to his fall to the second round. If a top-five talent is still on the board when the Lions are back on the clock, it would be tough to say no and move on, but then again, perhaps his character issues are worse than originally thought. The Lions have shied away from guys with any sort of character red flags in recent years, so chances are they would look elsewhere if they wanted to add a pass rusher.


23. Landon Collins (Alabama)
64. Eric Rowe (Utah)
88. James Sample (Louisville)
108. Gerod Holliman (Louisville)
110. Cody Prewitt (Mississippi)

I don't expect Collins to be on the board for long on Friday, but Rowe is an interesting player to watch. He can play both cornerback and safety, and the Lions privately worked him out and brought him in for a pre-draft visit. They seem to have some serious interest in him, and he could be a strong candidate for the Lions' second-round pick (likely as a cornerback rather than a safety).

Best of the rest

19. ILB Eric Kendricks (UCLA)
29. TE Maxx Williams (Minnesota)
30. OLB Paul Dawson (TCU)
39. ILB Denzel Perryman (Miami FL)
42. ILB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State)

The Lions don't need any tight ends or linebackers, so I can't imagine any of these players will be in the mix for them on Day 2 of the draft.