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NFL Draft Day 3 targets: Updated Detroit Lions needs, top players available

A look at the Lions' top remaining needs and the players that can fill them.

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The Detroit Lions have seven picks left on the final day of the NFL Draft. Bob Quinn admitted Detroit may be shifting their attention to skill players on Day 3. With that in mind, let's look at the Lions' top needs going into the fourth round of the draft and the players that may fill those needs.

1. Defensive end

The Lions still have a somewhat desperate need at defensive end. I had DE as the most-pressing need for the Lions going into the draft, and three rounds later it remains unaddressed. The Lions were a little unfortunate with a string of DEs being selected before their second round pick, but the Lions absolutely have to make up for it by grabbing a guy on the final day of the draft.

Potential targets: Matt Judon (Grand Valley State), Ronald Blair (Appalachian State), Shawn Oakman (Baylor), Charles Tapper (Oklahoma)

2. Strong Safety

Many believed the Lions were going to grab Justin Simmons with their third-round compensatory pick, but the Lions passed over him and Simmons was taken with the final pick in Day 2 by the Broncos. Detroit still needs to find a potential starter at the safety position, but luckily there are still some options available.

Potential targets: Jeremy Cash (Duke), Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah), K.J. Dillon (West Virginia)

3. Tight end

With no healthy blocking tight end on the roster, the Lions could get a solid contributor late in the draft this year. It would make a lot of sense to use one of their seven remaining picks on a pure blocking tight end late in the draft, but it wouldn't hurt to get a guy who can catch too, in case the relationship with Eric Ebron sours.

Potential targets: Jerell Adams (South Carolina), Beau Sandland (Montana State), Darion Griswold (Arkansas State)

4. Wide receiver

It remains to be seen who, if anybody, on the Lions roster will step up to be the No. 3 receiver. Will it be TJ Jones, Corey Fuller or nobody? Regardless, the Lions should add some competition to the position and if Quinn stays true to his word, it sounds like they will.

Potential targets: Mike Thomas (Southern Mississippi), Pharoh Cooper (South Carolina), Charone Peake (Clemson), Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia), Kenny Lawler (California)

5. Backup quarterback

Quinn has already hinted at the Lions drafting a quarterback this year and with his most recent comment about skill players being the focus in Day 3 of the draft, you can bank on Detroit leaving Chicago with at least one new passer on the roster. Just don't expect it to be Connor Cook.

Potential targets: Kevin Hogan (Stanford), Brandon Allen (Arkansas), Nate Sudfeld (Indiana), Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky), Jake Rudock (Michigan)

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