The Lions look ready to score some points in 2019, but they need to hit their first round draft pick if they want to stop anyone from scoring next year.
Head coach Matt Patricia made a very un-Belichick like move this offseason by paying big money to defensive end Trey Flowers. Unfortunately for the Lions, that move won’t solve their pass rushing issues all by itself. It’s very likely Detroit will look to strengthen their edge rushing options even more in the draft.
The good news for the Lions front office is that this class is deep with potential impact edge rushers. Detroit should have several intriguing options available when they are put on the clock with the No. 8 overall selection. The trick right now will be trying to forecast which players might fall into their lap on draft night.
No matter what, expect the Lions to get a player who can significantly bolster their pass rush right away. This piece walks you through five guys who could go to Detroit in the first round of this year’s draft.
5. Ed Oliver
It’s very likely the former Houston star will be gone by the time the Lions pick comes up, but they should rush to the podium to select him if he falls this far. The Lions are stocked at defensive tackle but Oliver has the versatility to move outside and play as a giant defensive end on most downs.
Oliver is a very different player than Ziggy Ansah, but it would be a welcome change for Patricia and his coaching staff. He’s a very physical player who can rush the passer and stand up against the run game. Oliver’s temperament and technique both need work, but there’s no question about his talent. He would be a steal for the Lions all the way down at No. 8.