Put on your GM hat, it’s time to play a game: The Risk is Right. The Lions have a bad history with second-round picks... it’s also where, to a degree, both Martin Mayhew and Bob Quinn have been willing to take some varying levels of risk on high-upside players with red flags due to character, fumbles, speed, or anything else.
Question of the day: How risky are you willing to get in this draft?
Before I answer, let’s develop some sort of a risk chart. Here are some benchmarks on a 1-10 scale based on the Lions’ recent second-round picks.
1 - Safe pick
2 - Mikel Leshoure: nothing wrong with him
3 - Jahlani Tavai: a player not expected to go as high as the second round
4 - Ameer Abdullah: fan-diagnosed fumblitis
5 - Teez Tabor: a slow player at a position that needs speed
6 - Ryan Broyles: coming off a season-ending injury (ACL) in college
10 - Titus Young: more red flags than the USSR
My answer: I’m probably more willing to take “fixable” risks. Obviously, it’s easier said than done, but someone coming off a big injury or having ball security issues are things that can be improved, to some degree, with proper exposure to NFL coaching and some time. On the other hand, if you’re lacking speed after spending years in a world-class strength and conditioning program, chances are you won’t get much faster.
That being said, I think with how many uncertainties there are in this draft given everything that’s (not) going on, just about everything is a risk. If you’re Bob Quinn, go all in. Grab someone coming off a gnarly injury who would otherwise be a Day 1 name. You hit and miss with those type of players, perfect examples being the Ravens taking Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown in 2019 and the Lions taking Ryan Broyles in 2012. Perhaps a guy they could eye in the second round is Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara, who was projected to be a Day 1 pick before the season started before a late-season leg injury ended his season.
How risky are you willing to get? Where would you put the Lions’ recent picks on the risk scale? Let us know in the comments.