The start of the Matt Patricia era in Detroit has not been great with an embarrassing opening loss to the Jets and subsequent close defeat at the hands of the 49ers. The start was so bad, in fact, that many fans quickly checked out and started looking ahead to next year after Week 1. With 14 games left to play, there's plenty of time to turn it around but if the season ended today the Lions would have their pick of players with the first overall selection of the 2019 draft (based on strength of schedule tiebreakers).
One site, The Draft Network, has already dove into who they may pick in that scenario.
First overall pick
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
For what seems like the infinitieth season, the team is looking at problems with their defensive front entering the draft and Draft Network's Tre Sikkema wastes no time filling that need. This pick likely came down to Bosa or Houston's Ed Oliver, both considered the best defensive line prospects in a talented position group.
Nick Bosa is clearly the best pass rusher in the country, and he’s shaping up to potentially be one of the best at the NFL level, as well.
Bosa has already picked up 4.0 sacks through three games to start this season, bringing his career total to 17.5. With 29.0 career tackles for a loss, Bosa has had no trouble disrupting the run as well, an area the Lions have struggled mightily with in their first few games. If his name sounds familiar, it's because his brother, Joey Bosa, also played for Ohio State and has gone onto have a strong start to his NFL career with the Chargers.
Bosa was injured this past week with what is being called a lower abdominal strain, and the outlook is uncertain. However, if there are no long-term injury concerns here, Bosa’s first-round draft status should remain unchanged.
A pick like this one would obviously being into question the future of Ezekiel Ansah. It's quite possible that by the time the 2019 draft rolls around, the former fifth overall pick and Lions franchise player will have signed with another team. With injuries limiting his time on the field and production, it was risky of the Lions to tag Ansah, and he only lasted a few snaps before a shoulder injury saw him on the sideline for the team. If the emergence of Devon Kennard continues, Bosa would be the perfect pick to place outside. The Lions like to put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks and keep rushers from killing them off the edge.
We've still got 14 games to play in the regular season, so plenty of things can change before the draft. Still, if the team's struggles continue, they'll need an impact player on defense they can trust to put opponents on edge. If they start winning some games, Ed Oliver would be more than a good consolation prize as long as the team remains in the top 10. Otherwise, Detroit could be looking at one of the Clemson defenders (who are each good in their own right, but don't seem to fit Patricia and Pasqualoni's defense), or possibly one of the Michigan defenders if the team is picking late enough in the first round or decides to trade down.