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2017 NFL Draft: Best players available for the Lions on Day 3

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We have one day left of the NFL Draft and the Lions have six picks remaining. Here are some of the top remaining players.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have now added a linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver after three rounds of the NFL Draft. With six remaining picks for Bob Quinn and company, I’d expect them to add a running back and safety early, and add some depth to their remaining needs to finish off Day 3. Here are some of the top prospects available at their biggest areas of need.

Edge rusher

1. Carl Lawson (Auburn)
2. Trey Hendrickson (FAU)
3. Jeremiah Ledbetter (Arkansas)
4. Ejuan Price (Pittsburgh)
5. Deatrich Wise (Arkansas)

Analysis:

The Lions have waited this long and it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to take an edge rusher that will contribute much as a rookie, unless you count Carl Lawson, who has fallen further than anyone thought. This likely means his medicals must be worse than we imagined. I’m not really enamored with the rest of these edge rushers, but I suppose there can be depth added later.

Defensive tackle

1. Caleb Brantley (Florida)
2. Jaleel Johnson (Iowa)
3. Carlos Watkins (Clemson)
4. D.J. Jones (Ole Miss)
5. Elijah Qualls (Washington)

Analysis:

Like I said yesterday, Brantley’s fall is expected after a recent domestic violence arrest. Jaleel Johnson was also expected to be here after testing poorly at the combine. D.J. Jones and Elijah Qualls are two guys that look good as pass rushing 3-techs and could be a fit for the Lions in the later rounds.

Safety

1. Tedric Thompson (Colorado)
2. Desmond King (Iowa)
3. Josh Harvey-Clemons (Louisville)
4. Rayshawn Jenkins (Miami FL)
5. Eddie Jackson (Alabama)

Analysis:

Tedric Thompson would be a huge value pick if the Lions were to land him in the fourth round. He has arguably the best ball skills in the draft, but his tackling is definitely iffy. Desmond King was once thought of as a first-round cornerback prospect, but stayed in school for another year and is now available as a Day 3 safety for some team. The world is a crazy place. Thompson, King and Jackson are all likely to be deep safeties, while Harvey-Clemons and Jenkins are more thought of as box safeties.

Running back

1. Wayne Gallman (Clemson)
2. T.J. Logan (UNC)
3. Jamaal Williams (BYU)
4. Samaje Perine (Oklahoma)
5. Brian Hill (Wyoming)
6. Matthew Dayes (NC State)
7. Jeremy McNichols (Boise State)
8. Tarik Cohen (NC A&T)
9. Marlon Mack (USF)
10. Brandon Wilson (Houston)

Analysis:

A lot of good talent still left on the board at running back, which is good news for the Lions. If they are looking for a power back, then I really like Gallman, Williams and Perine. If they want speed, Logan and Wilson are burners that can hit a home run out of the backfield. Brian Hill is another favorite of mine, but he wins mostly with his vision and efficiency as a runner and simply takes what’s given to him.

Tight ends

1. George Kittle (Iowa)
2. Jeremy Sprinkle (Arkansas)
3. Michael Roberts (Toledo)
4. Jake Butt (Michigan)
5. Jordan Leggett (Clemson)

Analysis:

The top four guys on this list would immediately improve the tight end position for the Lions, especially when it comes to in-line blocking. Kittle and Roberts are my two favorite fits for the Lions. Kittle wins with his deceptive athleticism, while Roberts is a big time red zone threat.