Why the Lions need to nail this draft

Sonja Greenfield, OTFB Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

The Detroit Lions will be picking 8th in this year’s draft. It will be the 2nd draft for head coach Matt Patricia and the 4th for general manager Bob Quinn. And while it’s “early” in the Patricia/Quinn era, they need to hit big.

Lions fans have been chomping at the bit for the team to be regular Super Bowl contenders, and always in the playoff mix.  When it was announced that Quinn was to be the general manager, most were hopeful that the Patriot Way was coming to Detroit. Throw in Matt Patricia and some of us Lions fans were thinking we’re the Patriots West and on the road to winning multiple Super Bowls.

Then reality set in and the Lions had a “disappointing” season.  They finished 6-10 and last in the NFC North. The team is at a sort of crossroads.

We’ve got quarterback Matthew Stafford who, regardless of what people think, is probably the best quarterback option that this Lions team can get at this time without completely blowing this team up.  Plus, he’s got a massive contract that not too many teams are going to want to take on.

Running back Kerryon Johnson is starting to become a rusher that the Lions have needed for years, but was injured toward the end of the season. They’ve got a rising star in wide receiver Kenny Golladay.

On the defensive side, there’s cornerback Darius Slay, defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, and linebacker Jarrad Davis. There is talent here, but now we’ve come to the fork in the road, and that is why this next draft is so critical.

In my mind, they need to at least earn a B grade draft to really show that this team is taking the next steps towards being a playoff contender.  What or who would that include? An EDGE rusher, a tight end, a running back, LINEBACKERS!  These are all good things to want, but as we’ve seen in drafts past, Quinn has surprised us.  Especially last year, when drafting left guard Frank Ragnow.  So, even when we as fans think we know, we really truly don’t.

The recent success of coaches like the Los Angeles Rams Sean McVey and Philadelphia Eagles Doug Pederson have really set the bar high for improving teams drastically.  With a team like the Lions, it’s going to take some time. Hopefully, Quinn and Patricia will nail this draft and show the fans that the Lions really did take the right fork in the road.

 

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