With the draft coming up in April, it’s the biggest thing for Lions fans to look forward to this off season. Lots of talent is coming in this year’s draft, especially at positions that the Lions need. Here are my top players the Lions should pick at #20, in no order.
Linebacker, Malik Jefferson, Texas
Malik is coming out of Texas as a highly touted hybrid linebacker. He can rush the passer, stuff the run and is decent in coverage. In his three years at Texas, Jefferson had 231 total tackles, 26 for a loss, along with 13 sacks. With Matt Patricia coming in, it wouldn’t be a surprise for the organization to take Jefferson because of Patricia’s hybrid defense that utilizes players like Jefferson.
DT, Maurice Hurst Jr., Michigan
Oh yeah, Mo might just stay in state. Mo had a monster year at Michigan this year, with 59 total tackles, 13 for a loss and 5.5 sacks. While it may not seem like a whole lot, this is a defensive tackle we’re talking about here. And from playing the position all of my football career, they aren’t meant to rack up numbers like that. They’re there to stuff the run, rush the passer, and take on blockers. Those numbers are those of a backup linebacker who could have very well started that year. Mo would fit Patricia’s defense very well.
RB, Nick Chubb, Georgia
Chubb is coming off his second best season in four years at Georgia. He came up just 202 yards short of his career high in rushing. Nick had 1,345 yards along with 15 rushing touchdowns this season. Chubb is a little under the radar here, but he has a good mix of power and agility. The Lions could really use a versatile back like Chubb in the run game.
RB, Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Now this is a huge long shot here. Saquon is set to go at least in the top-5 of the draft. But let’s just say that defense takes over in the first 19 picks. It would be a no brainer to take him here if he was available at number 20. We all know how dominant Barkley was, but just look at these stats. Barkley had 1,271 rushing yards with 18 rushing touchdowns this season. Those are NFL numbers, Todd Gurley or Ezekiel Elliot numbers. Safe to say Saquon could be the next Rookie Running Back that makes an huge impact immediately, which the Lions desperately need.
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