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2018 NFL Draft: Top players available for the Detroit Lions on Day 2

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Day 1 is in the books, so let’s take a look at the best players available at the Lions’ biggest needs for Day 2.

Citrus Bowl presented by Overton's - LSU v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A year ago, I mentioned that last year’s Day 1 was one of the most unpredictable days in draft history. Last night may have even been crazier, with plenty of surprises across the board. For starters, I did not expect the Detroit Lions to go with Frank Ragnow with the 20th overall pick. Some other surprises were Terrell Edmunds in the first round, Denzel Ward to the Browns at fourth overall, Mike McGlinchey with the ninth pick and much more.

Now that Day 1 has concluded, it’s time to turn our focus to the second day of the draft. Personally, it is my favorite day of the draft. The great teams in the NFL tend to hit more often than not in these rounds, and there is plenty of talent to choose from. Let’s take a look at who the Lions may target on Day 2.

Edge Rusher

1. Harold Landry
2. Lorenzo Carter
3. Kemoko Turay
4. Josh Sweat
5. Arden Key

I’ll admit, I was pretty surprised to see Landry fall as far as he did. I’m a huge fan, but there is obviously something there that made teams not want to take him in the first round. Part of that could be scheme fit. Landry is thought to be a Vic Beasley type rusher, and that type of player doesn’t fit in every scheme.

Still, Landry is a heck of an athlete and a heck of a player, and I think he’s going to wreak havoc in the NFL eventually. Another option could be Lorenzo Carter, who is a great athlete in his own right, or Kemoko Turay, who is an extremely lengthy, but raw edge rusher that could hear his name called in the second round.

The Lions need an edge rusher badly, and I’m not convinced that Kerry Hyder will regain his old form coming off of an Achilles injury.

Running back

1. Derrius Guice
2. Nick Chubb
3. Ronald Jones II
4. Kerryon Johnson
5. Royce Freeman

Wow, thank you New England and thank you Seattle. I’m not sure why Rashaad Penny or Sony Michel would go over any of the top three backs left on this list, but I’m not complaining. If Guice, Chubb or Jones manages to be left on the board by the time the Lions are picking, then I’d run one of their names up to the podium and I’d hardly give it a second thought. All of these guys would make a nice fit for the Lions and they already strengthened their offensive line by getting one of the top center prospects in the draft. Adding one of these RBs would be a huge step in the right direction for the running game and could lift some of the pressure off of Matthew Stafford’s shoulders.

Defensive tackle

1. Maurice Hurst
2. Tim Settle
3. Harrison Phillips
4. Derrick Nnandi
5. Nathan Shepherd
6. B.J. Hill

There are a lot of big, run-stuffing defensive linemen in this draft, and Day 2 will be full of those types of guys. The only guy I truly like here is Hurst, because I’m not completely sold that the Lions have that big of a need for a run-stuffing, gap-plugging DT right away. I could see them doing it, as Patricia’s scheme tends to use them quite often, and the Patriots are known for drafting them over premier pass rushers, but I just don’t understand why they’d go in that direction over a stud pass rusher. Hurst is that stud, but he has some potential health issues that could be the reason as to why he’s still available here.

Linebacker

1. Darius Leonard
2. Jerome Baker
3. Fred Warner
4. Malik Jefferson
5. Micah Kiser
6. Genard Avery
7. Josey Jewell

Well, the Lions didn’t grab a linebacker in the first round like I thought they might have, but there are still some decent options left for Day 2 and Day 3. I really like the idea of them adding an athletic linebacker, possibly one that can play inside as a 3-4 ILB or outside as a 4-3 WILL and compete with Christian Jones for that spot. Adding a backup SAM could also be an option. There are plenty of guys to choose from. The POD staff is really high on Genard Avery if he continues to fall.

Tight end

1. Mike Gesicki
2. Dallas Goedert
3. Jaylen Samuels
4. Chris Herndon

With the loss of Eric Ebron, the Lions are likely looking for a “Y” tight end to make an impact in the receiving game. These four tight ends can realistically go in the second or third round and have the athletic ability to fill that role in the passing game. Gesicki is a fantastic athlete with the third-highest RAS ever at his position. Goedert has received comparisons to the likes of Zach Ertz, which sounds pretty great, but he will likely go in the second round. Herndon is athletic and raw and will likely go late Day 2 or Day 3.

Safety

1. Justin Reid
2. Jessie Bates
3. Marcus Allen
4. Tarvarius Moore
5. Godwin Igwebuike

The Lions could use some depth and a long-term option at safety and there are some really talented guys to choose from in the early-to-mid rounds. Marcus Allen is fantastic in the box and could even play linebacker if asked, while guys like Reid, Bates, Moore and Igwebuike are stud athletes with impressive range. Reid isn’t likely to fall as far as 51st overall, but that could end up being a steal if he was somehow there.

Best of the rest

1. Will Hernandez

Is it possible that the Lions could double dip on the O-line? Probably not, but Hernandez was once thought of as a first rounder. I’m just glad he wasn’t picked up by the Vikings. Let’s hope he stays out of the NFC North.