With things going as smoothly as they possibly could be, the Detroit Lions enter the 2020 NFL Draft with practically their choice of player. That would be the case no matter what, as the Lions are sitting at third overall and only two players can possibly be selected before the Lions are on the clock. In this case, however, the Lions have an easy choice as the best player in the draft fell past both the first and second pick, landing in the Lions lap like a gift wrapped Matt Ryan pick six.
So without further ado, let’s do this. With the third overall pick in the POD Community Mock, the Detroit Lions select Chase Young, defensive end, Ohio State.
Let’s get the easy bit out of the way. How did this happen? Is it likely to happen? In this case, there were no trades and the first pick went exactly how you would expect it to. The second pick saw Isaiah Simmons go to the Washington Redskins, setting this pick into motion. I would argue that the second pick is less likely to occur than the Lions getting Chase Young served up to them. It’s not impossible that someone trades into the second overall pick to select a quarterback, or that Washington takes someone other than Young. As explained in the second mock draft selection, Washington has invested heavily in their defensive line so picking Young may be viewed as a luxury they can’t afford.
So Young being available? Totally a thing that could happen. If he’s not, the Lions are very likely to select Jeff Okudah, which was who I expected to pick. In fact, he could be the pick even if Chase Young is still available, but that’s a discussion for a different day. For today?
Just how good is this?
Trey Flowers started off 2019 injured and summarily struggled. Once he was healthy, he was money. He was also, however, the only Lions pass rusher doing anything for much of the year. Not just anything good, but anything at all. The rest of the guys were just there taking up space. The addition of someone like Chase Young adds a dynamic that this team has been lacking for years, and this is going to sound crazy so let me break it down for you.
What if two players could go after the quarterback at the same time?
Boom, mind blown. No team has tried this before, or at least no Lions team in recent memory (my memory isn’t very good and I don’t watch other teams). Just imagine if not only Trey Flowers, but also Chase Young can get after the quarterback? Opposing offensive coordinators will have to account for multiple players on the defensive line every play and opposing quarterbacks don’t get to feel comfortable when they see Trey Flowers is sufficiently double teamed.
With one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL, the Lions were forced to resort to constantly rushing only three lineman to try to keep as many of their players in coverage as possible. It had varying degrees of success in that it worked briefly to start the season and then never again. The addition of Chase Young would make it so the three-man rush would be one of two things. One, it would never be seen again, aside from prevent situations. Two, it would only be used when it made functional sense to do so. Both of those things are significant improvements.
Chase Young finished 2019 with 16.5 sacks and 21.0 TFL to go with seven forced fumbles and three pass deflections. Those are impressive numbers if you are playing every snap on defense, but when you consider that Young was not playing every snap every game, but only when he needed to is very telling.
Is this the part where we dance? I think this is the part where we dance. Let’s dance. Well, do the poll, then comment on what you think of the pick.
What grade do you give the Lions pick?
This poll is closed