With the National Championship behind us, there is a fresh batch of 2019 Mock Drafts. Let’s take a closer examination of the players projected to the Detroit Lions at pick 8.
Heading into the game I put Ferrell at the top of the Clemson watchlist because of his intelligence, technique and upside, but suggested he needed to showcase his athleticism to be considered in the Top-8 conversation. A perfect fit for the Lions down defensive end position, Ferrell did enough on the big stage to prove he belongs.
“Clemson pass-rusher Clelin Ferrell may have put himself into the elite conversation with a tremendous performance against Alabama,” Knox wrote. “While he wasn’t credited with a sack, he consistently pressured the quarterback and finished with 1.5 tackles for a loss.
“Ferrell, by the way, spent most of the game going up against Jonah Williams, one of the top tackle prospects in the nation. The 21-year-old showed off both his power and his quickness against the Alabama star, and he did so for a national audience.”
“With Ziggy Ansah set to enter free agency, the Lions will be looking for edge rushers,” Rang noted. “Allen possesses the burst and bend up-field to make an immediate impact in this area and possesses the maturity Matt Patricia may be looking to add to his young defense. As has been well documented, Allen considered leaving early for the NFL last season but opted to return, significantly improving his stock as a senior with improved strength, technique and even in coverage.”
Allen has quickly become a Lions’ fan favorite — and rightfully so — but there are concerns that picking at No. 8 may have put them out of range to select the dynamic EDGE rusher. Hopefully, after seeing two mock drafts from highly respected analysts still connecting the Lions and Allen, will help ease some fan concerns.
Projected by Dan Kadar of SB Nation
“Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs are obviously good cornerbacks for the Lions,” Kadar wrote, “but they clearly need another player on the outside. Williams profiles as the best cornerback in the 2019 draft thanks to his size and playmaking ability.”
At this point in the year, most analysts continue to put Williams at the top of the corner list but I am not convinced that’s how the Lions board will fall despite the seemingly natural fit. Upgrading the starting corner spot is a definite need for the Lions but it’s very possible they address this in free agency and if they do wait until the draft Williams will be challenged by Byron Murphy (Washington) and Deandre Baker (Georgia).
Projected by Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports
“Matt Patricia had a rocky rookie season in Detroit and he has plenty to fix in the coming months,” Wilson explained. “Shoring up the defensive line, which is set to lose Ziggy Ansah to free agency, will be near the top of the to-do list. Polite had 11 sacks in 13 games for the Gators. He has an explosive first step and off-the-chart physical abilities, and his knack for getting in the backfield was unrivaled at times this fall.”
There is no disputing Polite’s ability to rush the passer, which alone could be good enough to get him drafted in the first round, but pairing him with the Lions is a situation of an analyst matching a team with a need but ignoring the Lions scheme.
Yes, the Lions need a pass rusher, but Polite struggles setting the edge and against the run, which are two of the biggest requirements for the Lions down defensive end position. He is a talented player that would fill a hole in the Lions defense but his flaws would potentially open up a new set of problems if he was consistently on the field in this scheme.