Apparently, some people liked the snack foods. Three recipes in addition to Detroit Lions draft coverage.
The Detroit Lions second-round needs will obviously be shaped by their first-round pick. Yesterday I went over the likely positions and players to go in round one during day two of Draftmas. Bob Quinn‘s trend in the second round of the NFL draft has been to take a high profile player that has fallen to the second round due to a poor workout. There are quite a few prospects at positions of need for the Detroit Lions that fit this bill. I think the positions for round two are in step with round one: pass rusher, defensive tackle, and interior offensive line. The running back position gets added to this list now as well, and whichever spot the Lions took in round one obviously disappears. There is always a chance they’ll add a linebacker too.
The round two pass rushers that fit the Detroit Lions hybrid linebacker/defensive end spot best are LSU’s Arden Key and Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Key has off the field issues that will likely drop him farther into the draft than pick 51 unless the Bengals are feeling adventurous. Okoronkwo is one of the best college-level pass rushers in this draft but lacks the height and length to play the hand in the dirt defensive end spot. That limits the number of teams that will look at him. The Lions could get a steal in the second round because of it. He needs to refine his game, and add some secondary pass rush moves, but the potential is there.
Harrison Phillips is my number one candidate for a round two defensive tackle going to Detroit. Coming out of the season he was regarded as the best defensive tackle on tape in the class. He was expected to time poorly, as a primarily run-stuffing defensive tackle will. He did what was expected and has crashed down boards. It cannot be said enough that Phillips is a much better football player than track athlete, and Bob Quinn loves those guys in the second round of the draft. The Lions have also met with B.J. Hill and Deadrin Senat.
On the interior of the offensive line, James Daniels out of Iowa got some early first-round buzz that has faded. Daniels is a very good interior lineman. He has above average length for a center. Daniels put up solid explosion and agility numbers at the combine. He has powerful legs and very quick feet. Unfortunately, he loses technique at times and needs to stay disciplined. He also gets a little high off the snap in pass protection occasionally.
Billy Price is also a viable option in the second round of the draft. He would be a part of the first-round conversation if not for a torn pectoral muscle. He may be a redshirt rookie, or not up to speed until midseason. Frank Ragnow is also getting first-round buzz. I think he goes right around the Lions second-round pick though. The team has met with all three players and if any were to fall to 51, they could easily go to Detroit.
The second round is rife with high-quality running backs. If the Lions want some power up the middle, Nick Chubb or Rashaad Penny fit the bill. If Bob Quinn is looking for a quicker, smaller back Ronald Jones II and Sony Michel could be there awaiting him. Chubb seems like the best fit for the group. His mix of size, agility, speed, and versatility make him a candidate for a great career. There are a lot of running backs left, and half of the ones I listed above could conceivably be there when the Detroit Lions pick at 82.
A low-key need for the Lions is a linebacker. The team added some better depth to the position in free agency and hit it hard last year with Jarrad Davis and Jalen Reeves-Maybin. If a Leighton Vander Esch, Malik Jackson, or Rashaan Evans were to slide to 51, however, I could see that being a pick that made sense. It’s not where I would put my money though.
Two Late-Round Gems
Tight end Andrew Vollert is a player I like more every time I find more tape to watch. His athletic numbers at the Weber State pro day were as good as any tight end at the Combine. That doesn’t mean he’s a lock to start at tight end immediately of course. Vollert is a raw athlete that is likely to spend some time on a practice squad. He showed the ability to chip before releasing on tape. That is something many college tight ends never do. He has great hands and functions well as a member of a double team. I have no idea where Vollert will go on day three, but he is a very intriguing prospect. He ran a 4.54s 40-yard dash and put up a 4.09s short shuttle. Both would have been the best at the combine.
Tyler Conklin is the opposite type of tight end. The Central Michigan stud is an explosive and fluid, but not overly fast player. He runs decent routes for a day three tight end but may struggle to separate at the NFL level. Conklin makes spectacular catches with a regularity that is hard to believe. There are times where he makes a catch more difficult than it needed to be by only using one hand. His overall body control is incredible, but Conklin’s 4.8s in the 40-yard dash will turn some teams away. His great community involvement history and blue-collar work ethic are likely to appeal to Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn.
Three Spectacular Cheese Sticks
I said on day one I wasn’t going to do this, but then someone on the Detroit Lions subreddit complained, and it was the most upvoted comment on that thread. As a man of the people, I am happy to oblige. And as a disturber of the peace, I will begin with a treat I know will make a segment of the Lions fanbase very unhappy. These cheese sticks are delicious, and if you disagree, you just have bad taste.
Gluten Free Cheese-Bread Sticks
- 3/4 cup shredded Mozza
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup almond flour (you can use regular flour too)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (you can use a bag of mixed Mozza and cheddar for both cheese quantities.
- baking sheet
Wash your hands you filthy savage, these are going in people’s mouths later. Mix the shredded Mozza and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until they’re a single mass. Then add and mix in order: the flour, baking powder, the garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Add the cheddar but don’t mix it as much, just until the cheddar is sticking into the mass consistently. Refrigerate that for half an hour to make it a little more firm.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle a light coating of the flour onto a surface. I use a 1′ x 2′ cutting board. Separate the mass into eight equal parts, and roll them into stick shapes on the surface. Place wax paper on a baking sheet put the sticks onto the sheet, and then put the sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Leave them in until the outside of the sticks starts to change color. Dipped in marinara these things are great.
As a side note, if you just flatten the entire thing with a roller instead of dividing it into eight pieces, you can use is a cheese based pizza crust. Cook the crust for 8 minutes, add some sauce with toppings as normal, sprinkle some more cheese on there and bake it until the new cheese starts to turn brown.
Keto Friendly Bacon Cheese Sticks
- X strips of bacon
- X sticks of cheese: 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 4″ the type doesn’t really matter that much, just something that comes in a brick, and can easily be cut into rectangular cheese chunks.
- cooking oil
- 2X toothpicks
X is the number of cheese sticks you want to make. Freeze the sticks of cheese overnight. Wrap one piece of bacon around each stick with a slight overlap to hold the cheese in but leave a little bit of bacon dangling at each end. Cover the ends with the excess bacon and secure them in place with a toothpick.
Fill a deep frying pan with about 1/2″ deep oil and heat it up on medium high heat (like 6.5 on my range). Once the oil is heated, very carefully set the cheese sticks in, being careful to make sure none are actually touching each other. Use tongs. Be gentle. Don’t splash boiling oil on yourself. When the bacon on the bottom starts to crisp up, flip them over. Again, be super careful not to splash yourself. When all sides of the bacon are cooked crispy, set the cooked cheese sticks on a plate covered in paper towel and pat them dry before allowing them to cool. I don’t dip these in anything. But if I was going to, a honey bourbon BBQ sauce would probably add some sweetness to this savory cheese stick.
- 1-3/4 cups of flour
- 1-1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup of vodka or gin, I prefer vodka.
- 1 cup soda water
- 6 oz shredded cheese, Mozza, pepper jack, whatever.
- 6 oz of shredded fontina, gouda, gruyere, or gouda.
- 3 egg whites
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons for dredging the cheese discs
- Any oil usable for frying things
- a slotted spoon
- small metal tongs
- easier in a deep fryer, but you can use a heavy-bottomed pot as well, just be careful not to splash yourself with the oil. One of those air fryers would likely work too.
In a medium bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and 1/2 the lemon zest. In a large bowl mix the one egg yolk and the cheese. Add the Italian seasoning, all the peppers, the garlic powder, and the rest of the lemon zest and mix it all together. Fold in the egg whites. Scoop out chunks of the mixture and lightly dredge them with flour and form them into sticks with your hands. Set the sticks on a tray, and refrigerate that tray for an hour.
To make the tempura batter: whisk the flour and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Whisk in the two egg yolks and the vodka together in a different bowl, then whisk the soda water into the egg mixture. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. You need to pick up an oil thermometer somewhere if you don’t want to wreck your meat thermometer.
Seconds before you are ready to fry, pour the liquid mixture into the bowl and whisk it lightly to combine, not blend them. Just a few at a time, submerge the frozen cheese balls in the batter, pull them up, and let the excess drip off. Very carefully put them in the oil. Stir them with a chopstick if you’re using a pot to keep them from sticking together. In 3-5 minutes they’re done, and you’ve got cheese tempura. If you have extra batter you can use it on meat chunks or vegetable chunks for a few different options.
I am actually going to start with the mock drafts tomorrow. No polls, no voting, we’re getting back to the program now. Four mock drafts every day until we come to a consensus on who the Detroit Lions will draft. That consensus was right in 2016, and wrong in 2017. It’s the swing year. You can find me on Twitter @a5hcrack and on the Lions subreddit.