It is the job of all 32 franchises to be prepared for anything when it comes to the NFL Draft. Common sense may tell you that a scenario is unlikely, if not impossible, but strange things happen on Draft Day, and if a general manager is caught off guard, it could result in an unnamed voice in the back of the war-room yelling a random name, and the team winds up with a third-round bust.
The Detroit Lions are picking 20th overall in this year’s draft, and that almost certainly means they will not get their highest rated player on their big board. In fact, they’re unlikely to get anyone in their top five.
However, it’s the job of the general manager to be prepared... just as a precaution. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Who should be the top three players on Lions’ big board?
- Bradley Chubb
The Lions need pass rushers above all else, and Chubb is the near-unanimous best edge defender in this year’s draft. Landing a game-changing defensive end can change the trajectory of a defense more than any other position, and Chubb could definitely qualify as that dude. Depending on the run of quarterbacks early in this year’s draft, Chubb seems destined to be a top five pick.
2. Quenton Nelson
It’s extremely rare to hear some people posture that an offensive guard is the most talented player is an entire draft class, but that’s exactly what some have said of Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson. What some call a “generational” talent, Nelson’s game tape speaks for itself. He serves out more pancakes than Denny’s, and a plays with an edge that will strike fear in defensive linemen, even in his rookie year. I hate the cliche of calling someone the safest pick in the draft, because nothing is safe. But Nelson is as close to a sure thing as you’ll get in this draft.
3. Roquan Smith
Linebacker is at the top of the Lions’ needs list, but Detroit could certainly use an upgrade there, too. Smith is a do-all linebacker who adds an important dimension Detroit Lions linebackers have been missing forever: coverage skills.
Offensive attacks have been relying more and more heavily on the use of slot receivers and tight ends, and Detroit’s defenses have failed to keep up. Smith would immediately help defend the pass while also being a beast in defending the run. In 2017, Smith had 137 tackles and 14.0 of those went for losses.