2020 Lions 7 Round Mock Draft

Last year’s draft was brutal.

The Lions took T.J. Hockenson, a tight end, at pick #8.

Then they took Jahlani Tavai, another linebacker who can’t cover at #43. A safety Will Harris came as a head scratcher in the 3rd round. DE Austin Bryant didn’t play last year due to injury. I had corner Amani Oruwariye graded as a Day 2 pick who ended up falling to the 5th round, and I was thrilled to see the Lions select him there. He played well in the few snaps he had in 2019, and got a pick against fellow rookie and former Big 10 QB Dwayne Haskins.

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This “pass defense” was literally featured on Jahlani Tavai’s 2019 highlight video made by the Lions. See it in all of its 2 minute 53 second glory here.

6th round picks Travis Fulgham and Ty Johnson are still on the roster, as is 7th round TE Issac Nauta. 7th round DT PJ Johnson is not.

So here I am once again attempting to salvage this roster doing a 7 round mock for the Detroit Lions. This is purely a what I would do mock, not what I think Bob Quinn will do. As always, the simulation will be done via TheDraftNetwork. No trades projected here, but let’s all hope Quinn can get Miami’s second for a swap of firsts.

NFL Draft 2020 Rumors: Isaiah Simmons Expected to Be Picked in 7 ...
Why would the Lions pass on Simmons at 3?

Round 1, Pick #3: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Isaiah Simmons is the prospect Matt Patricia should be slobbering all over. For the defensive “genius” who always talks about versatility being the most important part of his defense, Simmons is that at more. Simmons played over 100 snaps at 5 different positions last year at Clemson, becoming the first player since Khalil Mack to notch 120 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, and multiple interceptions in one season. Simmons is the type of player and athlete that sacks Aaron Rodgers on 2nd down, then covers Davante Adams on 3rd down. Make the pick.

Round 2, Pick #35: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

The Lions pass rush was abysmal last year, and Yetur Gross-Matos is my 2nd ranked EDGE in this class. While there were some consistency issues the blend of size/length/bend is exciting. Gross-Matos would be a steal in the second round and I’m not sure he makes it here. Other targets that I would have potentially considered with this pick had the board fallen differently were Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore and Utah CB Jaylon Johnson. Strongly considered taking USC WR Michael Pittman Jr here. Kid is a stud. Don’t be shocked if he sneaks into the back of the 1st round, and also don’t be shocked if the Lions use a 2nd round pick to dip into this talented WR class, especially if they pick up a pick from a trade-back.

Round 3, Pick #67: Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina

One of my favorite players in the draft. Edwards may not be the greatest separator and isn’t the fastest off the line, but he is extremely tough at the catch point and has underrated after the catch ability. He suffered from brutal QB play at South Carolina and would love to see #9 toss to this kid. Whether or not Edwards ends up a Lion, receiver is an under the radar need for Detroit and I expect them to draft one on Day 2. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay (Bob Quinn’s best draft pick, by far) are both on the last year of their contracts, and while I expect Kenny to get a big payday I don’t think Jones will be back in 2021. Edwards is drafted to be developed into his replacement, and I think he could be Keenan Allen in the NFL.

Round 3, Pick #85: Parnell Motley, CB, Oklahoma

You may have been wondering why I haven’t selected a corner yet, and that’s because I’ve had Playoff Parnell in my back pocket for this pick at #85. It’s only natural that the Lions use a pick from the Slay trade to get a corner, and Motley may just be the most underrated player in the entire draft. He was somehow snubbed from the combine despite locking down Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor, and JaMarr Chase. Read Leigh’s article on Motley for more information. I watched every game on Motley that I could find on the internet, and there’s just no way he is a bust in the NFL despite literally nobody talking about him. I am as sure of it as I am sure that I love McDoubles and ranch dressing. There’s 0% chance Bob Quinn makes this pick, and that’s why I should be holding the Louisville Slugger in Allen Park on draft day. BTW, Noah Ig will be a bust.

2020 NFL Draft Profile: Oklahoma Football CB Parnell Motley ...
Motley shut down Jalen Reagor, who will be drafted ahead of him.

Round 4, Pick #109: Leki Fotu, iDL, Utah

Fotu is 6’5″ 335 and has cinder blocks for hands. This is the 2 gapping 1 tech that Matt Patricia can get early on Day 3 rather than reaching for Derrick Brown at pick #3. Fotu is a high effort player who never gets blown off the line of scrimmage. He’s a little slow out of his stance and doesn’t project well as a guy who can create an interior pass rush, but in the 4th round you’re not going to find players who do it all.

Round 5, Pick #149: Ben Bredeson, iOL, Michigan

Unfortunately Oregon Guard Shane Lemieux went 4 picks before this, so I’ll settle for Ben Bredeson. Bredeson was the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year his senior year of high school and started full time for 3 years in Ann Arbor. I’ll admit that I really have only seen Bredeson in games where I watched Cesar Ruiz, but reports are that he is a hard-nosed player who may struggle athletically. I have yet to address the need on the interior of the offensive line so I’ll do it here despite the fact that I would have paid Graham Glasgow if I was the GM, which I should be, yet I am not.

Round 5, Pick #166: Tanner Muse, S, Clemson

I’ll defer to the Murray brothers who brought Tanner Muse up in our sleepers podcast. Muse is another hybrid type player from Clemson’s defense who I think could mesh well with Patricia’s desire for versatile pieces. While my first round pick Simmons is more of a EDGE/LB hybrid, Muse is a Safety/LB hybrid on the back end. With Tracy Walker cemented into the free safety role, I’ll try Muse at strong safety first to develop behind Duron Harmon. He also ran a 4.41 40 in Indy, so if you put a little extra on his 227 pound frame he could be a more than worthwhile developmental LB prospect.

Sapakoff: Ideal Clemson Senior Day for safety Tanner Muse ...
Muse may be a tweener, but his production, size, and speed are more than worth a chance in the 5th round.

Round 6, Pick #182: DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami

Adding some competition to the RB room later in the draft is more than a realistic scenario for Detroit in the draft, and Dallas was one of the more fun sleeper RB prospects I looked at. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and has production both on the ground and through the air. He may not run around defenders, but he may run them over. Pass pro leaves something to be desired, but hey it’s the 6th round.

Round 7, Pick #235: Trey Adams, OT, Washington

I’ll admit that at this point in my mock I am running out of players on the board whose names I even recognize, let alone know anything about. In my defense, throwing darts in the later rounds is pretty much what Bob Quinn has done so far as Lions GM (Jimmy Landes, Brad Kaaya, Jake Rudock, Nick Bawden, Pat O’Connor), so who’s to say I would be any worse at it. With my last pick in the mock I draft the 6’8″ mountain of a tackle from Washington Trey Adams. At the combine a reporter asked Adams if he could change one thing about himself, what would it be?

Adams said he’d want a bigger dick.

Welcome to Detroit.

2020 No Combine Invite…..Say Less

 

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Say Less.

Last year, my colleague Adam Klepp wrote an article profiling 2 players who he thought were wrongly snubbed from a combine invitation. I enjoyed the article and thought he did a solid job of shining a light on players who were overlooked by the combine selection committee but can be solid contributors in the league. This year it’s my turn, and that isn’t because Klepp doesn’t want to, it’s because I saw the light to be shown…

A common theme amongst some of the top cornerbacks in this years draft class is being “proven”. By that I mean you went up against legitimate competition on a weekly basis (preferably the other teams #1 WR) and you competed at a high level for 4 quarters. Some will get burnt, some will get bodied, some will get penalties, nobody is perfect. That being said, when you think of the top teams in the NCAA last year, all of them had a legit #1 guy. LSU? Kristian Fulton. Clemson? A.J Terrell. OSU? Jeff Okudah. Oklahoma? Parnell Motley. And I ain’t gonna say it twice.

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NFL.com prospect list from Oklahoma does not include Parnell Motley. #SayLess

Parnell Motley played well as a backup when he was a freshman, had a rocky sophomore and junior campaign, dealing with some consistency issues and a coaching staff that may have thought they already had the book on him. In 2019, the Oklahoma Sooners hired a new defensive co-ordinator in Alex Grinch, and Motley rose to the occasion.

While watching tape on the Sooners’ top players like Neville Gallimore and Kenneth Murray, something started poking at me.  #11 sure can play…again and again. Motley covered the opposing team’s #1 WR every game during the Sooners 11-2 campaign this year. He not only found some sound consistency, he locked down Denzel Mims (twice) and Jalen Reagor, two receivers who could go in the first round of the draft this year. Motley also put the clamps on LSU’s JaMarr Chase in the semi-final playoff, the guy who won the 2019 Biletnikoff award and has seemingly embarrassed every cornerback born after 1996.

I understand Motley does not have the same athletic profile as some of the top Cornerbacks, but his technique and resume are top tier. Not only can Motley press, he welcomes it, along with contact. He is aggressive, fluid and according to PFF, Motley only allowed a 43.4% completion rate when targeted in 2019, the best number among corners in the Big 12. That coupled with being a #1 on a playoff team and going against CeDee Lamb every day in practice is enough to warrant a day 2 pick in my eyes, let alone a combine invite.

Oklahoma states its case for playoffs | Local Sports ...
Denzel Mims in 2 games against Parnell Motley: 7 Targets / 4 Receptions / 53 Yards / 0 TDs

#11 backed up the tape and statistics with a solid showing at Oklahoma’s pro day,  putting up 12 reps on the bench press and running a more than respectable 4.5 40-yard dash. Those are good numbers for a corner and he has desirable size at 6’0″ 190, put simply there are no red flags when it comes to Motley’s physical profile either.

Ultimately, after grinding the tape on multiple DB’s, it makes no sense that Parnell Motley was not offered the opportunity to showcase his tangible abilities at the NFL combine. That being said, I worry very little about how that will affect him long term. As long as Motley stays confident and relies on his technique and aggressiveness, he will always have a place in the league.

That wraps up edition 1 of 2 of No Combine invite…Say Less

 

Gooch Likes…

Barring a postponement, we are just under a month away from the draft. Here are some things I would like to see happen in the NFL before Draft Day.

  1. Cam Newton signs with the LA Chargers

This is a no-brainer…

The Chargers have had a top 10 roster in the NFL for the past 5 years and the most they have to show for it is one playoff win in Baltimore against a rookie QB. After an extremely disappointing 5 win campaign in 2019, the Chargers let franchise legend “Kill Phil” Rivers go this offseason, leaving a Cam Newton sized hole at QB on the Bolts depth chart.

The expectation…draft one of the non-Burrow QB’s with your shiny 6th pick in the draft!! Not so fast my friend, Cam Newton is the healthiest and hungriest he has been in his career and there is no better fit in the NFL for Cam than in LA. Why not sign Cam Newton to the most team friendly deal you can possibly get him on (coming off getting cut) and use the 6th pick in this years draft (and the rest of your draft assets) to build your already competitive roster around Cam Newton.

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Born to be an Angelino

2. Jameis Winston signs with the Pittsburgh Steelers

Im sure that when Jameis Winston was a young QB coming up the ranks he dreamed of competing against Tom Brady in a much different way, but the NFL is a business. After a year in which Jameis led the league in interceptions, further proving that although he is a promising prospect, he can’t seem to get out of his own way. The team that once believed Jameis would lead them to the promised land split for 2 years of Tom Brady quicker than GM Jason Licht switches user profiles on Twitter. Although I understand the lust for Brady, the Bucs hung their 26 year old former #1 pick out to dry only one year into the Arians experiment.

What if I told you Jameis can still win this whole debacle he just needs to be in the right organization. Ben Roethlisberger turned 38 years old this month and hasn’t played a full organized football game in a year and a half and although they had a top 5 defense in the NFL, the 2019-20 Pittsburgh Steelers season evaporated into thin air due to dismal backup QB play.

Not only do the Pittsburgh Steelers have a long standing tradition as one of the most impressively run organizations in all of sports, they have a veteran 2 time Super Bowl winning QB who seemingly is just what the doctor ordered for Jamies Winston in terms of a role model. Similar build, play style and Ben has dealt with his fair share of off the field distractions when he was younger as well. Sign Jameis and groom him, by the time he is 27/28 he will be ready.

3. The New York Jets trade for Trent Williams

First of all, the Jets have botched this offseason and this is one of the only ways I see them recovering.

George Fant is a sieve and with the needs at OT popular in this years draft you don’t know who will be available at #11. Trade your 2 or a package deal for Trent Williams (top 3 OT in the NFL) and draft an electric WR with your #11 pick. Give Darnold a franchise LT and a legit weapon on the outside and let him work in the wide open AFC East.

4. Jacksonville signs DeVonta Freeman

Not too much to say here other than I like the fit. Freeman proved last year that his bell cow days are behind him and he is more of a change of pace back now. Jacksonville hasn’t had a good back to compliment Leo Fournette since he was drafted. Bring a veteran with playoff experience in who can manage 30% of the touches. Plus Freeman played his college ball in Tallahassee.

5. Brady and AB re-unite!

It’s in the prophecy folks! not only do I want this to happen, I believe it will. Brady is calling the shots in Tampa and it’s a matter of time before the Bucs bring the ABuser in for a workout. Put the cherry on top of your dynamic offense by adding Tony Toe Tap to the mix.

Week 1 Game Rankings

The NFL is back, and she greets us with an absolutely stacked week one slate. There are plenty of games that have will my attention, and a lot that may answer some questions about teams that we have had since March.

In this weekly series, I will rank the games from worst to first, and tell you what I’m most looking forward to.

#16 – Bengals @ Seahawks, Sunday 4:05 PM

Neither of these teams will make the playoffs. With the Seahawks playing at home they will win handily. This makes for a pretty low-wattage AFC-NFC match up.

#15 – Ravens @ Dolphins, Sunday 1:00 PM

It’s the NFL – so anything can happen, except for the Dolphins winning against the Ravens in week one.

#14 – Redskins @ Eagles, Sunday 1:00 PM

The NFC East can always throw you for a loop, but the Eagles have one of the most talented rosters and well run organizations in the NFL. The Redskins have one of the least talented rosters and are one of the worst run organizations in the NFL. You take your pick.

#13 – Broncos @ Raiders, Monday 10:20 PM

I’ve pretty much sold all of my Raiders stock, knock on wood if you’re with me. The Raiders have something like 11 rookies on their final 53-man roster, so even if you believe in the future of this team, which I don’t, a rational person would have to understand that 2019 isn’t the year it’s going to come all together for the silver and black. The Broncos have Joe Flacco as their QB, so I’m wholly uninterested in this one.

#12 – Colts @ Chargers, Sunday 3:05 PM

This would’ve been a candidate for game of the week if not for the retirement of Andrew Luck. Now it’s way further down the list. Part of my dis-interest also goes with that I’m not that into the Chargers this year.

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#11 – Giants @ Cowboys, Sunday 4:25 PM

Zeke is back with Dallas so that makes things even worse for what I see as the worst defense in the league for New York. This NFC East showdown will likely make the ratings soar, but won’t be pretty to watch.

#10 – 49ers @ Buccaneers, Sunday 4:25 PM

This game is interesting because it features two teams that have under-achieved recently and have reason to be hopeful for 2019. I’m just not one of those hopeful people. It’ll be a good game, but one that ultimately won’t matter when we get to December.

#9 – Rams @ Panthers, Sunday 1:00 PM

I’m not sure what exactly is keeping me from being super excited about this game. LA is coming off a Super Bowl appearance, and the Panthers have a lot to prove with Ron Rivera on the hot seat. Still…eh.

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#8 – Titans @ Browns, Sunday 1:00 PM

Two AFC fringe playoff teams get a crack at each other week one. Murray put the Dawgs on upset alert when he made Tennessee his “risky survivor”. I kind of like that, although I’m sticking with the Browns. How bad will that offensive line be?

#7 – Lions @ Cardinals, Sunday 4:25 PM

Yes I’m biased. I pay $99 a year for this domain though so go make your own site. The Lions are a team who I thoroughly believe have playoff potential. The Cardinals have totally changed identities in an offseason, and this is Kliff and Kyler’s debut into the NFL. Can they make a Big 12 offense work in the NFL?

#6 – Bills @ Jets, Sunday 1:00 PM

These are the two teams competing for 2nd place in the AFC East. Can one of them make an early statement. I’m on the Bills at the moment but have been going back in forth in my mind on this one even post pod. Do I make a Shady-esque tinker time switch in my Bills pick 5 minutes before kickoff? Stay tuned.

#5 – Chiefs @ Jaguars, Sunday 1:00 PM

The Chiefs have Mahomes, but can the Jaguars defense return to 2017 form and put the plug on him? It’s also the debut of the Foles era. He has decidedly less talent than in Philly, on the field and on the sideline. Lots of things to watch for here.

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#4 – Packers @ Bears, Thursday 8:20 PM

I’m hoping for a 6-6 tie. The Packers bring LaFleur in to replace McCarthy, but I’m not very big on him. I’m also not a Trubisky fan. However, the kickoff game atmosphere and the rivalry make this one a must-watch.

#3 – Texans @ Saints, Monday 6:10 PM

With Tunsil now along the line, the Texans became true contenders in the AFC. They start the season with a chance to make a huge statement win on the road. New Orleans is coming off two devastating playoff exits, can they regroup to make another run?

#2 – Steelers @ Patriots, Sunday 8:20 PM

I think the Steelers will do much better than people think this year, and it all starts with a win at Gillette. The Patriots will regroup, but they always seem to struggle early on. They have more things to work through this season than in years past.

#1 – Falcons @ Vikings, Sunday 1:00 PM

This could be a NFC Championship game preview in September. I’m very high on both of these teams for 2019-2020, and think this will be the best played game of the week. Give me my Super Bowl pick Atlanta in a close one, 31-28.