There are numerous directions the Detroit Lions could take in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Detroit could use a starter at pass rusher, running back, interior offensive lineman, and defensive tackle.
New head coach Matt Patricia comes from New England with the philosophy of building from the middle out. In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, there are plenty of options up the middle, including Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan, UTEP guard Will Hernandez, and even LSU running back Derrius Guice.
Does Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit share Patricia’s philosophy? Lets find out with his pick.
20: Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA
Reisman: There are a lot of tempting options here for the Lions, like Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan or UTEP guard Will Hernandez, but none more tantalizing than UTSA edge defender Marcus Davenport.
Admittedly this is a slightly risky pick — taking a raw prospect from a small school is always a gamble — but the upside here is just too much to pass up. The Lions have a unique perspective on Davenport, seeing as their new defensive line coach Bo Davis coached him up in his last season at UTSA.
And what is Davenport capable of? Bringing the pass rush back to Detroit. Ezekiel Ansah is on the franchise tag and could be on his way out next season, and the Lions don’t have a successor in place.
Davenport put any doubts I had about his ability to play against better competition during this year’s Senior Bowl. After a week of admittedly shaky practice, Davenport went out and balled against some of the best prospects when it was game time. He’d be welcomed in Detroit.
Analysis: An interior defensive lineman is often the popular choice for the Lions, but Davenport makes a lot of sense. Solely in the context of this mock draft, he was the best player on the board. But even beyond that, he would give Detroit a potential high-end pass rusher for several years. Of course, that’s assuming he continues to refine his pass rush technique and moves and becomes more than just a threat when he’s standing up. Hernandez and Bryan would have worked as well. If the Lions come on the board in the real draft with that many different obvious options, you have to wonder if they’ll trade back a couple picks.
Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining
- 20. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
- 21. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
- 22. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
- 23. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
- 24. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
What grade do you give the pick of Marcus Davenport by the Detroit Lions?
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