PSO: The Top Prospects For The Lions At Number 2, Ranked


The NFL Draft is getting closer and closer, and as most fans know the Lions currently sit at number two overall, second only to the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Many fans also know that many consider this to be a somewhat weak draft class not only in the quarterback position but across the board.  That being said, let’s see who the Lions would be best off taking, ranked from best idea to worst.

T-No.1 Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

For reasons that still aren’t particularly clear, Kayvon Thibodeaux has been receiving a lashing from the media as he has been branded as aloof, egotistical, and mainly lazy.  Some people think that he doesn’t really care about football and that he only wants to build his brand.  Who cares?  This happens every year.  People get sick of the same people on top of the mock drafts week after week and start overthinking the player.  Thibodeaux isn’t a player that needs to be overthought.  He is a physical specimen who ran a 4.58 fourty, has an elite first step, and is such a powerful pass rusher that he has literally ran left tackles over before.  With the news that Lions head coach Dan Campbell isn’t a fan of Thibodeaux, Detroit selecting him now seems unlikely, but one can still hope.

T-No.1 Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

I am not generally a fan of hot takes, but for once I found one that I like.  Jordan Davis could very well be the best player in this draft.  He is a spectacular run stopper along with being just a massive human being.  He also runs a 4.78 forty yard dash at 340 pounds, which is faster than most of the NFL’s quarterbacks.  Those who have evaluated him as just a big man to clog up the middle are sorely mistaken, as he can and has run down quarterbacks who have tried to scramble to the outside.  He also demands double team blocks, which opens up holes and opportunities for the defenses’ other linemen and linebackers.  Drafting Davis and playing him alongside Alim McNeil makes it almost impossible to run the ball on the Lions defense and opens up holes for pass rushers like Romeo Okwara.

No.2 Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan

Hutchinson is expected to be the first overall pick, something that hopefully happens because that opens up better options for the Lions.  Hutchinson is a solid player with extremely refined pass rushing moves who somehow became a Heisman finalist his senior year and led Michigan to their first-ever playoff appearance.  He has the highest floor out of any pass rusher in this draft but also the lowest ceiling.  Drafting Hutchinson is the safe pick.  He is a solid player, someone who maybe makes a couple of pro-bowls in his career.  But if you watch his film, a lot of his sacks can be chalked up to luck.  The quarterback roles out right to him, or holds onto the ball for way too long.  He takes advantage of advantageous situations, but he doesn’t seem to create plays on defense the same way that Thibodeaux or even Davis does.

No.3 Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia

This might start to feel redundant as this entire list so far has been pass rushers a defensive lineman, but that’s really the only talent at the top of the draft that it makes sense for the Lions to take.  Walker is the opposite of Hutchinson.  While Hutchinson has a high floor but low ceiling, Walker has a very high ceiling and a very low floor.  He barely logged any stats in college and only won about ten percent of his pass rushes, but he is a phenomenal athlete who made his biggest impact when chasing down players as they left the pocket or ran to the tackles.  He also happens to fit into the culture that Dan Campbell seems to be trying to build in Detroit, as he seems to be quiet and a hard worker.  The only reason he ranks this high on the list is because of positional value.

No.4 Ahmaud “Sauce” Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

Gardner is arguably the best player out of these five.  He is tall, has long limbs, and didn’t allow a single touchdown pass to be scored on him in coverage his entire college career.  So why isn’t he higher on this list?  Because he’s a corner.  Cornerbacks aren’t luxury positions, but they do have short shelf lives and are generally easily replaced, just like running backs.  It would be especially hard to justify to a Detroit fan base desperate for defensive improvement how taking another defensive back is going to help the team only a few years after the disastrous Jeff Okudha selection at third overall.