The 2016 NFL Draft is only 9 days away at this point. The Lions seem content to head into the draft with this roster and see what they can do. Given the holes currently in the roster, the Lions really need to draft well and make some moves in order to plug away their weaknesses before the mini camps start. Theoretically speaking, the Detroit Lions needs are as follows:
Those needs are in no certain order because it could be debated as to what needs are most important. Some fans say plugging tackle and center are the biggest needs. Others feel we should fix the defense, especially during a defensive line heavy draft. What will the Lions do next week? Here are a few players that the Lions should target in the draft.
DE Shaq Lawson – Initially, I was against drafting a first round defensive end whose name was not Joey Bosa. But, as time wore on, I heard more and more positive things about Lawson and doubt began to creep in about Bosa. While Bosa is a top five player in this draft, I remember another Ohio State pass rusher who was highly regarded, drafted high, and busted out of the league. His name was Vernon Gholston. Lawson was recently worked out by the Lions defensive line staff and it was reported that they felt his workout was the best they have seen in terms of explosiveness since Jadaveon Clowney. Lawson is also a very mature young man who is actively caring for his siblings after his father passed away in a car accident. Looking at his combine numbers, he ran a 4.7 forty yard dash, which was among the best in the defensive line group. All in all, I think he could be a good complement to Ziggy Ansah, creating a fierce pass rush in a couple of years.
RB Keith Marshall – Marshall is an intriguing talent. He is built like Todd Gurley, but was stuck in a Georgia backfield that contained so many talented runners he never got much of a chance to showcase his abilities. He is 5’11” and weighs almost 220 lbs. The size alone puts him in the power back category. His forty time at the combine of 4.31 makes him very intriguing. For a man of that size to run that fast is lethal. The Lions do not have a big need at running back but I think if Marshall is still available in the later rounds, he must be taken. He is too good to pass up.
T Jason Spriggs – The talk is all about the first round offensive tackles. Taylor Decker, Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin, Laremy Tunsil. No one is talking about Jason Spriggs, who was arguably the most athletic offensive lineman at the combine. While Spriggs may not have been impressive in college, he is still a borderline first round pick. If a run on defensive linemen happens near the end of the first round, it is possible Spriggs is there in round two and if the Lions do not have their tackle yet, he would be the ideal pick in that spot.
S Jeremy Cash – Cash is a top safety in the draft. His run support skills are exactly what the Lions had hoped for from James Ihedigbo but never got. While he played at Duke after transferring from Ohio State, he remained on the radar high enough to be thought of as a borderline first round pick. The Lions have a need at safety with only Tavon Wilson and Rafael Bush competing for the spot opposite Glover Quin. If Cash is high on their draft board, and he is available, he would be a very good second round pick for the Lions
DE Matt Judon – A small school prospect, Judon has the measurables desired of a defensive end. He is quick, has good size, and very strong. He ran a 4.7 forty which is among the fastest for defensive linemen. He also benched 30 reps which was among the highest for defensive linemen. For someone so strong and so quick to be a late round prospect due to being a small school guy, the Lions need to capitalize on this and grab him. He will need time to develop into an NFL player, but he could flourish under the coaching of Kris Kocurek