The Detroit Lions are projected to take Caleb Brantley with the number 28 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
This series is to give a look at who Matt Miller, NFL Draft Lead Writer from Bleacher Report, has us taking in his mock drafts as the season goes on. We will be breaking down who we “take” and if the player would be a good or bad fit for the team.
In his first Mock Draft, Matt Miller had us picking sixth and taking linebacker Jabrill Peppers from the University of Michigan. Next he had us taking Malik McDowell, defensive lineman from Michigan State. A week later he had us taking Jamal Adams, safety from LSU, and for the past few weeks he had us locked in with Malik McDowell.
Finally Matt Miller has given Detroit a brand new player with Detroit moving up higher in the latest mock draft. This time he has Detroit taking defensive lineman Caleb Brantley from Florida.
Does Caleb Brantley Fill a Need?
Yes, Brantley fills a need. Haloti Ngata isn’t getting any younger, Tyrunn Walker is on a one year deal and so is Stefan Charles. Ziggy Ansah is coming near the end of his deal and with Armonty Bryant doing well, he could leave Detroit after this year and get paid somewhere else. Brantley could fight for starting time next to Ngata with A’Shawn Robinson and Khyri Thornton. If he needs to play defensive end he could move there and backup Ansah for a year if the team doesn’t re-sign Devin Taylor or he could start on the opposite side if Kerry Hyder doesn’t re-sign.
Is Caleb Brantley A Good Or Bad Fit?
While the position is a need, it isn’t the biggest one on the team. Along with that, there are two other players that are better than Brantley that are still available in this mock draft. Brantley does have some good quickness and he can have some strength to knock men down, getting 77 tackles, 19.5 for loss, four and a half sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. A disadvantage for him is that he is only 6’2″ and he weighs under 300 pounds. So while the position is a good one to take, he isn’t the best one to take with that pick in the draft.
What are the other two players? Well Malik McDowell was taken off the board, but Lowell Lotulelei and Chris Wormley were still on the board. Now both of these players aren’t first round picks, both are projected to be taken in the second round, while Brantley is a projected second/third round pick. Both of these players are better than Brantley. Lotulelei has 84 tackles, 16.5 for loss, eight and a half sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass deflection. He offers help in the run defense, which Detroit needs more help in than pass rushing.
Chris Wormley has the best stats of them all, getting 118 tackles, 31.5 for loss, 17.5 sacks, two pass deflections and one forced fumble and recovery. Now at Michigan Wormley played more defensive end than anything, so that could explain the better numbers. Detroit would need more help with the interior of the line than the end position, but the flexibility of Wormley would be good for the team as he could rotate in and out at either position. Also with his height at 6’6″, weighing 302 pounds he is just a freak on the line.