SB Nation’s draft expert Dan Kadar released his latest two-round mock draft on Monday, and I imagine it will be very polarizing among Detroit Lions fans.
There has been a lot of debate already this offseason about the best way for the team to improve their woeful running game. Almost everyone agrees that in addition to throwing out last year’s scheme and starting anew, Detroit needs to add more talent in their backfield. The questions is: How do the Lions go about doing that? Should they add a mid-level free agent? Should they make it a high priority in the draft? Should it be both? Neither?
Kadar’s answer is clear: Go out and get one of the most talented backs in the draft. For the Lions’ first selection in his latest mock draft, the Lions take LSU running back Derrius Guice.
“Needless to say, the Lions need a feature back,” Kadar writes. “Guice is a runner who always seems to be working forward and has a nice combination of power and balance.”
That’s something the Lions’ backfield is definitely missing. They have struggled to find a power back that can also bring the speed and athleticism to potentially be a full-time NFL back. And Guice certainly has that athleticism. From his NFL.com profile:
“Well built combining powerful lower body with good overall size. Winning combination of speed, power and balance.”
But is Guice the right choice here? Some believe this is a deep running back class and Detroit should wait until later rounds to address this need. Local favorite Maurice Hurst was still available for the Lions to pick, as was defensive end Marcus Davenport, who was coached by Detroit’s new defensive line coach Bo Davis.
For the second round, Kadar addresses that defensive line need that was passed over in the first round. And he got himself a player that is directly linked to the Lions coaching staff: defensive linemen Da’Shawn Hand.
Aside from the obvious joy of having an A’Shawn and Da’Shawn on the same team, this picks makes a lot of sense. Da’Shawn was briefly coached by Davis before the defensive line coach was forced to resign. Hand also has the size and speed to be a versatile weapon on the defensive line. He can play end in a 3-4 system and tackle in a 4-3. Because the Lions aren’t married to a scheme yet, Hand could be just the weapon the team needs.
However, Hand doesn’t quite have the productivity in college that stands out among others. Because of Alabama’s talented roster, Hand struggled to find playing time, serving mostly as a rotational player until starting nine of 11 games as a senior last season. His statline is underwhelming, but he did earn Second Team All-SEC honors in 2017:
2015: 15 games: 16 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks
2016: 15 games: 21 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 2.0 sacks
2017: 11 games: 27 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks
So the Lions pick up talented players in two positions of need in Dan Kadar’s latest mock draft. What grade do you give his choices?
How do you grade Dan Kadar’s 2-round mock draft?
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