It isn’t the likely scenario, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
The Detroit Lions are poised to make some pretty important decisions in this upcoming NFL Draft, and with the third overall pick, a truly franchise-changing selection hangs in the balance.
It certainly seems longer than just six seasons ago, but the Lions have yet to field a pass rush even remotely replicating the success of 2014’s defense, spearheaded by names like Ndamukong Suh, Ezekiel Ansah, and DeAndre Levy.
Since then, Detroit also tried its fair share of experiments at cornerback opposite of Darius Slay. Well, that is until they finally traded away Slay last month—the best defensive player the team’s had since the aforementioned Suh left town in 2015.
Detroit’s defense is in need of a boost in a major way, and there’s no denying an elite pass rusher or a shutdown cornerback would go a long way towards revitalizing a defense that’s been dormant since before even Matt Patricia arrived in town. It just so happens this draft boasts a couple of premier talents at each of those positions the Lions are so starved for, but which one player would Detroit most stand to benefit from adding to their defense?
Today’s Question of the Day is...
Chase Young or Jeff Okudah for Detroit at No. 3?
Jeremy Reisman and I have a bet on this particular scenario, and I can’t even remember what the wager is, it probably has something to do with fried cheese sticks. But there’s something about this regime, something about this defense Matt Patricia runs that leads me to believe should Chase Young slip to the Lions at No. 3, Detroit would value Jeff Okudah and the position he plays more than drafting Young and ultimately choose the former Ohio State cornerback.
In a vacuum, void of the context of this current Lions roster or any other team’s roster for that matter, Young is the better prospect, the better talent, the better football player. However, Okudah is as close to an elite corner as you’re capable of getting in this year’s draft—and arguably plays a position more important in the success of a defense.
Just last week, Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson broke down in detail how in isolation, coverage is more important than pass rush based on what all the analytics are telling us at this point.
Time for another thread - this time Coverage vs Pass rush.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 1, 2020
1. Let's start with in this scenario Miami traded up to 2, so the Lions have a straight pick between Chase Young and Jeffery Okudah https://t.co/vXP8FbhMfH
Monson brings up some very interesting points, including the way the New England Patriots have shelled out for elite cornerbacks like Darrelle Revis and Stephon Gilmore while letting other positional talent move on without missing so much as a beat.
Detroit needs difference makers on defense, and regardless of who they decide to choose should they be stuck in this wonderful predicament, they’re going to get a foundational building block for their defense for years to come. Let’s just hope they land on the right side of analytics and take the player who will have the most impact play in and play out.
If they’re both available, who would you pick?
This poll is closed