No more snacks, a change in format, and some quotes that may or may not tell you something about the draft.
Round five of the draft is an interesting spot. This is where the internet’s rankings fall completely off the track of where players are going to go. Statistically, a fifth-round pick is no more likely than a seventh-round pick to see their fourth season in the NFL. Most NFL teams have a list of approximately 100 players that they have any interest in drafting. The fifth round is where teams start drafting a guy that can bring them one thing they can use situationally.
The Detroit Lions have some very specific profiles they are looking at. Rather than continue to go round by round, I am switching to lumping the remaining players the Lions have looked at as late round options. I will be going over the defensive front seven today, the offense tomorrow, and the secondary depth players they like the morning of the draft. Their player visits have told you the players they were looking at in both years of the Bob Quinn era.
At the defensive tackle spot, Bilal Nichols, Justin Jones, and Joshua Frasier are the three players the Detroit Lions have shown the most interest in that will probably go after the fourth round. Nichols is a 6’4″ 306lb team co-captain out of Delaware. He spent his final season playing a 3-4 nose tackle spot. He showed the athleticism to do more at his pro day. He has the knack for batting down passes that Bob Quinn loves. Jones is more of a super strong run clogger. He doesn’t have burst, like any of it. He will hold his line in the dirt in short yardage though.
Frasier is a guy that didn’t really get on the field as much as you’d like at Alabama. It is possible that the Lions’ defensive line coach liked him more than Alabama’s current staff when he held that position. It is also possible that the Detroit Lions were just covering their bases as they checked out Payne and others when they interviewed Frasier at the pro day.
On the edge: Hercules Mata’afa, Dorance Armstrong Jr., Chad Thomas, and Joe Ostman are the likely Lions targets. Mata’afa was dominant inside at Washington State but is far too small to play defensive tackle in the NFL. The problem is that he also lacks the length to play on the edge. A defensive coordinator is going to have to get very creative to get production from him. Armstrong is a long and lean speed rusher who switched over from basketball and needs a ton of refinement to his pass rush technique but has all the athletic tools to get the job done. He’s a situational pass rusher only for his first season, perhaps two.
Thomas was a highly regarded prospect who has tumbled down draft boards the more that people actually look at him. Miami used him as though he had top-tier athleticism, which limited how useful his tape would be. Thomas is a two-gapping 5 tech run stopper who might give occasional flashes of pass rush ability. Ostman is a player that exceeded the sum of his parts in college. He tore up the MAC, with tackles for loss and sacks piled like he was trying to start a bonfire with them. his 30-7/8 long arms are going to be a problem though. That’s too short for a defensive tackle. Ostman will have to produce immediately in whatever opportunity he gets at the NFL level.
Linebacker is a position that the Detroit Lions appear to be addressing early or not at all. Frankie Luvu, a player that nobody thinks will be drafted, is their main linebacker target in the late rounds. He played all over the defensive front for the WSU Cougars and has impressive closing speed to the ball carrier in closed spaces. He lacks a top gear but hits his top speed immediately. He is yet another linebacker the Lions have looked at who fits in the role of an off the ball short yardage linebacker who can rush the passer in nickel situations.
Four Mock Drafts
Businessinsider.com does aggregated results that have the Lions drafting Da’Ron Payne.
Peter King of si.com has the Detroit Lions taking Da’Ron Payne.
Walterfootball.com has the Detroit Lions taking Taven Bryan.
Ben Standig of nbcsports.com has the Detroit Lions taking Harold Landry.
The running total is now Marcus Davenport 3; Payne, Landry and Derrius Guice 2; Bryan and Will Hernandez 1.
Five Draft Rumors
The Dolphins are looking to move into the top five picks. They want to replace Ryan Tannehill before his contract ends and they have to replace him. It has been pretty clear that their coaching staff doesn’t think he’s going to be their guy long term.
TheBroncos are selling the fifth round pick to the highest bidder. Apparently, John Elway doesn’t like his chances of getting his guy at quarterback and will move that pick to the highest bidder on draft night if he doesn’t.
The Packers are seriously considering a move up to go after Tremaine Edmunds. On one hand, I don’t love the idea of Edmunds in Green Bay. On the other hand, I like that they would likely have to move into the top ten and give up a lot of assets to do so.
The Eagles are looking to move back and acquire picks. If the Lions like their depth but feel they need to add starting talent at a specific position, a trade back into the first is a possibility. Bob Quinn has said he’d like more picks, but it’s lying season folks.
Earl Thomas is for sale. The Seahawks have no second or third round picks in this draft. I don’t hate the Lions safety group but Glover Quin and Earl Thomas on the back end would tempt me.
Six Detroit Lions Draft Quotes
” I think we’re going to kind of take it as it comes in the first round and see what’s there in the teens and evaluate what our options are” – Bob Quinn
“I’m in the business of getting more draft picks, if I can….. the more you get, the more you hit on.” – Bob Quinn
“We’re looking for bigger guys at the linebacker position. I think all of them have versatility…… I think they’re all productive, I think they have different skill sets……. We’re looking for versatility.” – Bob Quinn
“He’s a talented guy. He’s got a strong arm. Does a good job of reading defense from my experience playing against him.” – Matt Patricia on Jake Rudock.
“I think with the stable of backs that we have with adding LeGarrette, I think we have a lot of versatility and guys that can kind of do different things, which is kind of what you need over the course of a long season.” – Bob Quinn
“Our division’s extremely difficult. It’s a lot of outstanding players, great quarterbacks, difficult schemes both offensively and defensively that we’re going to have to contend with, so no doubt that’s what you have to handle first and foremost.” – Matt Patricia
So there you have this installment. I’m ending the snacks. I hope you enjoyed them for the amusement they were meant as. The cheese sticks all taste good. The drinks all taste good. The sandwiches all taste good with the alternate, non-hotdog, ingredients. You can find me on twitter @a5hcrack and on the Lions subreddit.