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2015 NFL Draft: Best available players for Lions on Day 3

Here are the best available players for the Detroit Lions on Day 3 of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

With the Detroit Lions selecting offensive guard Laken Tomlinson, running back Ameer Abdullah and cornerback Alex Carter in the first three rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft, they have taken care of three major needs so far. This leaves defensive tackle as their biggest remaining need going into Day 3 of the draft, and there are luckily still some really intriguing options left on the board. A trade may be necessary for the Lions to actually have a shot at any of these players considering they don't pick again until the bottom of the fifth round, but here's a rundown of who is still available on the final day of the draft:

Primary needs

Defensive tackle

45. Michael Bennett (Ohio State)
56. Grady Jarrett (Clemson)
67. Ellis McCarthy (UCLA)
92. Marcus Hardison (Arizona State)
100. Joey Mbu (Houston)

Going into Day 2, I wasn't sure if Bennett would even be there at No. 54 for the Lions. As it turns out, he didn't get picked at all on the second day of the draft. The same goes for Jarrett. I'm not sure what has caused them to slide down the draft, but I could get on board with the Lions trading up for one of the guys on this list. They have some flexibility with multiple compensatory picks coming their way next year, so they could potentially be able to use a future third-rounder to move into the fourth round for a defensive tackle.

Secondary needs

Wide receiver

90. Jamison Crowder (Duke)
101. Justin Hardy (East Carolina)
114. Rashad Greene (Florida State)
124. Tony Lippett (Michigan State)
144. Tre McBride (William & Mary)

The Abdullah pick could potentially take care of the Lions' need for an upgrade at returner, but keep an eye on McBride. He was one of the receivers with return skills who visited the Lions before the draft, and I could see them taking him if he remains on the board in the final few rounds.

Offensive tackle

12. La'el Collins (LSU)
22. T.J. Clemmings (Pittsburgh)
80. Daryl Williams (Oklahoma)
120. Tyrus Thompson (Oklahoma)
149. Sean Hickey (Syracuse)

When it comes to the situation with Collins, this is an excellent summary of what is going on:

There's been talk that Collins will refuse to sign with a team if he is drafted on the third day in an attempt to re-enter the draft next year, but I think there's value in taking a chance on him in one of the final few rounds. I'd say the same thing about Clemmings, but I'm not exactly sure why he has fallen so much. I figured he would be a first-round pick, but there must be a major injury red flag for him to still be available this far into the draft.

Defensive end

73. Trey Flowers (Arkansas)
98. Za'Darius Smith (Kentucky)
107. Cedric Reed (Texas)
123. Anthony Chickillo (Miami FL)
129. Corey Crawford (Clemson)

None of the names here really jump out at me, but I could still see the Lions taking a developmental defensive end at some point to bolster their depth at the position.


88. James Sample (Louisville)
108. Gerod Holliman (Louisville)
110. Cody Prewitt (Mississippi)
119. Derron Smith (Fresno State)
135. Chris Hackett (TCU)

The first three names on this list were also on the list going into Day 2, which says a lot about how weak this year's safety class is. Perhaps there would actually be some value in adding one of these guys on Day 3, though.

Best of the rest

37. RB Jay Ajayi (Boise State)
69. ILB Hayes Pullard (USC)
70. TE Jesse James (Penn State)
77. QB Brett Hundley (UCLA)
82. OG Tre Jackson (Florida State)

Ajayi is another head-scratcher for me. There must also be some injury red flags for him to still be on the board. I can't imagine he will last long in the fourth round, but he'd really be an attractive Day 3 option if the Lions hadn't already drafted Abdullah in the second round.