The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, Feb. 23, through Monday, March 2, for prospects to show off their talents.
As the Detroit Lions hold the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the need for a massive amount of defensive talent is too much to overlook as the offseason continues. The Lions already have a profound offense with quarterback Matthew Stafford under center. While the team focused on offense and defense last season when they brought in tightend T.J. Hockenson with their first overall pick and linebacker Jahlani Tavai out of Hawaii, it wasn’t enough to secure a playoff spot in the regular season.
With the team having a few more issues than talent, it was the front office who struggled to get the team on the right track to win games. General Manager Bob Quinn traded away safety Quandre Diggs and this sparked a divide in the players belief of what they mean to the team. Many of these actions in the long run of the season led to controversy between leaders and players regarding loyalty and trust in the players.
The Lions look nothing like what they used to when they were in the playoffs back in 2016. They still need to turn things around. To get back to that level, this team must be defense-oriented all around and that starts with the draft.
The Lions have a real shot at landing Ohio State’s defensive end Chase Young, who is the number one pass rusher in the draft. The Lions should be able to land Young based on the projected first two picks being quarterbacks with the Cincinati Bengals and the Washington Redskins both in need of a quarterback. The Bengals are linked to Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow, but the Redskins search is a different story.
Washington can look at taking the next best quarterback in the draft in Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama if they don’t believe in the first round draft pick from last season Dwayne Haskins or they can agree to a trade with another quarterback needy team such as the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers and the Indianapolis Colts.
If Washington does agree to a trade that would make the first two picks in the 2020 NFL draft coming from the quarterback position and would allow the Lions to take Young at the number three spot and secure a solid pass rusher for years to come. From there, the Lions can focus on improving their secondary with either drafting a linebacker or cornerback. With the third pick being the Lions only first round pick in the draft this year it is imperative they draft someone who will help the team now and get them into the playoffs as the owner Martha Ford has stressed a win now attitude.
If the Lions cannot land Young, the next best thing they can do is trade back and get either another late first round pick or more picks in later on in the draft and continue building a team that can make a run for their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
If a trade is necessary, the Lions should trade the third overall pick with whatever package deal they can get the most out of and invest in the defense as that is by far the biggest issue and should be top priority. If the Lions do trade back in the draft, they should go after Ohio State’s cornerback Jeff Okudah or linebacker Isaiah Simmons from Clemson. Both would fill spots on the defense that need help. If the Lions cannot find a way to keep cornerback Darius Slay, they need to go after Okudah as this will then become their biggest need.
The 85th annual NFL draft will take place in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 23, starting at 8 p.m. when the Bengals go on the clock.