If there’s anything the last couple of months of draft season has proven, it’s that nearly anything is possible for the Detroit Lions with the eighth overall pick. Players once thought to be long gone by Detroit’s pick (Ed Oliver) are now occasionally projected to go in the middle of the first round. Conversely, other players have shot up the boards (like Montez Sweat), raising questions as to whether Detroit will even have a shot at them.
Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen falls into the former category. While most projections still remove Allen from the board before the Lions are on the clock, the rise of players like Sweat, Devin Bush and Devin White after impressive performances at the NFL Combine have led to Allen slipping in some mock drafts. In The Ringer’s mock draft from mid-March, Allen falls right into the Lions’ lap.
So it should come as little surprise that the Detroit Lions are planning one of their official visits with Allen, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:
Potential top-5 picks on the move this week, per sources:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 2, 2019
* Kentucky edge Josh Allen will visit the #49ers and #Lions
* LSU LB Devin White visited #Bucs yesterday, #Giants today, #Bengals next
* Alabama DL Quinnen Williams dined with #49ers last night, #Raiders up next
Detroit’s need for a top-tier talent on the edge is certainly lesser now that the Lions have nabbed Trey Flowers in free agency, but you can never have too many stellar pass rushers on your roster. Allen has an opportunity to be a transcendent talent. In his senior year at Kentucky, Allen racked up 17.0 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in just 13 games.
Of course, even if Allen doesn’t slip to eight, there’s a possibility the Lions fall so much in love with him that they make a move to go up and get him. If the Lions believe he is a once-in-a-lifetime pass rushing talent, it may make sense to grab him. Hence, the Lions are being smart to get as much information on him as possible with an official visit.