Now that the dust of Mock Draft Season has settled, it’s pretty clear who most Detroit Lions fans want the team to draft in the first round. Boston College’s Harold Landry is the edge rushing prospect Lions fans have been seeking for years now. As of Thursday morning, 22 percent of Lions fans are hoping Landry becomes the newest Lions defender, two percentage points more than Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, and 10 percentage points more than the next highest player in the draft class.
NFL Network’s draft expert Mike Mayock believes Detroit fans will get their wish on Thursday, as he slotted Landry to the Lions in his one and only 2018 NFL Mock Draft. “The edge rusher is the best dip-and-flatten guy in the draft,” Mayock wrote about Landry.
Detroit’s need for an elite pass rusher is well-known at this point. Detroit finished the 2017 season with just 35 sacks—good for just 20th in the league. Looking forward, the Lions could be without any premier pass rushers as soon as 2019, when former first-round pick Ezekiel Ansah’s contract expires. Considering the Lions tagged Ansah with the franchise tag this year, it’s clear they’re weary of handing him a long-term contract.
If he is the pick, Landry could step in and be a rotational player to start the year, sharing time with Kerry Hyder, Anthony Zettel and Devon Kennard (should the Lions utilize him as an edge). Then, if the Lions move on from Ansah in 2019, Landry could become the team’s premier edge defender for the foreseeable future.
In Mayock’s mock, the Lions passed over several interior offensive linemen, including Frank Ragnow, Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez, as well as running backs Derrius Guice and Sony Michel—all of which went shortly after Detroit’s pick.