If the Detroit Lions can find a good defensive lineman in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, that opens them up to a number of possibilities in later rounds. In the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit went defensive line with Michigan’s Taco Charlton.
That leaves him at pick No. 53 with options. He could take a wide receiver, running back, or a cornerback. Or, he could double down at pass rusher.
53. Detroit Lions: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
Reisman: Of the six linebackers that logged starts for the Detroit Lions in 2016, one was cut, one was traded, and a third was not re-signed. That leaves Tahir Whitehead, who graded out as PFF’s second-worst linebacker in 2016, fifth-round rookie Antwione Williams, and career journeyman Thurston Armbrister as their three capable linebackers. Detroit’s current linebacker corps could be the worst in the league.
Which brings us to Tyus Bowser. Getting Bowser near the bottom of the second round is tremendous value for the Houston linebacker. Bowser was extremely versatile in college, meaning the Lions could use him in several, much-needed roles. He brings the heat as a pass rusher (8.5 sacks in seven games in 2016), his long arms make him an above-average tackler in the run game, and his solid week at the Senior Bowl proves he can play with the big boys.
This pick, combined with Taco Charlton in the first, not only addresses the Lions’ biggest needs, but adds two playmakers to one of the worst defensive units in 2016.
Analysis: Ultimately, in the actual draft, I think this is about where Bowser's range will be. However, in our mock draft scenario, I wouldn't take him over Tim Williams. The Alabama linebacker is a better pass rusher with a really good burst off the line of scrimmage. I know he's limited as a prospect coming out of college, but what he can do well he's really good at doing. I do agree, though, that getting two front seven pieces is critical for Detroit.
Dan's top five players remaining
- 26. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
- 41. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
- 45. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
- 46. Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan
- 50. Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State
- 1-21: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
- 2-53: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
At 3 p.m. ET we'll have our last pick of the day in the SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft courtesy of The Phinsider and the Miami Dolphins.
What grade do you give the pick of Bowser by the Lions?
This poll is closed