Your patience has finally paid off. After a couple weeks of mock drafting from our valued readers, it is time for the Detroit Lions to make their pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock draft.
Our own Alex Reno had a tough decision as acting general manager of the Lions. In fact, in the three picks leading up to No. 20, three perfectly fine options for the Lions came off the board: defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, edge rusher Marcus Davenport, and edge rusher Harold Landry. If you want to catch up on the draft thus far, follow our Mock Draft Tracker.
But Reno has turned in his card and it’s time to announce the pick.
With the 20th overall pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock, the Detroit Lions have selected Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan. Here’s Reno with his rationale for the pick:
“This pick would have been much easier to make had Harold Landry still been on the board. Thanks a lot,
Jerry Jones Bubba92188. But in reality, it’s much more likely that the Lions will be facing a situation similar to this, as Landry is likely to be off the board by the time of their pick, and I was left with a pretty tough decision at No. 20 overall.
If I were Bob Quinn, which I guess I kind of am right now, the first place I’m looking at is to the trenches with the 20th overall pick. The Lions need all the help they can get on the defensive line and they’re also projected to head into the season with either Kenny Wiggins or Joe Dahl as their starting left guard, unless they add a top-tier interior lineman in the draft.
With that being said, I narrowed my list down to five guys right away when making my decision: Defensive tackles Maurice Hurst and Taven Bryan, guards Will Hernandez and Isaiah Wynn and running back Derrius Guice.
Guice is great value for any team here. He’s the top back on my board, the top fit for Detroit at running back and fits a need, but I just can’t get behind them taking a running back with the other four guys previously mentioned still on the board. The drop in talent on the interior line and defensive line is much greater than at running back, and all four of those guys are just as worthy of spending a mid-late first round pick on them. I love Guice, but the Lions would be better off taking someone else and praying that a few of the other top RBs are there in the second round.
The next two players I ruled out were both of the guards. While I wouldn’t be upset if the Lions were to take either Hernandez or Wynn, I think both Hurst and Bryan are better talents at their respective position and they both add an element to the Lions’ defense that they have been lacking for quite a while: the ability to rush the passer from the interior.
According to PFF’s 2018 draft guide, Hurst had the third-highest PRP (Pass Rushing Productivity) of all interior defensive linemen in this year’s class (12.1), with Bryan not too far behind in 10th place (9.4).
I ultimately came down to the decision to select Bryan over Hurst, though I would be happy with either pick. I give the slight edge to Bryan due to his elite burst, first step and overall athleticism.
Bryan is still quite raw and his inconsistencies may prevent him from being a full-time starter right away, but his upper class pass rushing potential will draw a ton of interest in the first round. This would be a great haul for the Lions on Day 1 and I’m a huge fan of his fit in Detroit.”
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