Questions on Edge Defenders and Fixing This Defense

As the debates continue I am settling in to the idea of the Lions draft Okudah and I am cool with that.

But past that I am looking at whether the rest of the defense can be fixed and still tinker with the offense.

When I moch draft I now take Okudak…and then look to edge defenders in rd. 2 or rd. 3 and a number of names keep coming up for me. This link is also VERY interesting:

I am now focused on Okudah in rd. 1 and edge rushers in 2. These names seem very interesting to me:
Epenesa, Curtis Weaver, Terrell Lewis and KLavon Chaisson. All BIG guys (6’2"-6’5" and 250-262 pounds). Yetur Gross-Matos fits here too.

After that I am convinced we will go after DT Leki Fotu in rd. 3 with our early pick. The link I posted above cites Lki as the second most productive DT in the draft, one spot above Derreck Brown. Fotu is 6’5" and 330 pounds and would make a solid combo with Shelton for that role.

THEN…I grab my starting right guard. Seems like a deep guard/center draft. What do folks think about Josh Jones, John Simpson, Ben Bredeson or Robert Hunt? All seem like solid ROG prospects. Lloyd Cushenberry seems like a solid possibility too and maybe even Tyler Biadasz? Regardless it sure seems like that second 3rd round pick can yield a starting ROG in this draft. Thoughts?

If we get a viable #2 CB, a great edge player, DT depth and then our starting ROG that seems realistic and smart.

I can see a trade down in rd. 2 with all this in mind. That might help land DT Fotu as I see that big guy maybe as a priority DT in rd. 2.

Thoughts on edge guys available in rd. 2? How 'bout guards?

Past rd. 2 there seems to be a bevy of additional guys in rd. 3 that can help on the edge too including Okwara, Alton Robinson and others.

My comments: I’m good with Okudah at #3, unless Young is still there. In which case I snag him and then go after the best CB at #35, maybe even trade up to get somebody that I really want. Now, that guy might not be as NFL-ready as Okudah might be, it does take awhile for rooks to acclimate and learn the ins and outs of the business.

Or they stick with Okudah if Young is gone, maybe even TD with Miami or somebody and maybe still get Okudah at #5. That’s the best case scenario to me. The Lions could trade up at some point if they wanted and needed to.

Now, about that starting RG, I’m a bit leery about that. A lot of OLs aren’t ready to start in September, they gotta learn the tricks of the trade and many of them probably need to get stronger to face the NFL DTs they’ll see every week, I like the idea though of drafting an IOL at #35, not real sure Quinn does though. He could go WR, RB, LB, DT, Safety, who the hell knows. Or an Edge guy if they haven’t draft one yet. Just get a good, productive player, that’s all I ask, and at #35 I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

I hope they can draft Fotu, but he’s pretty much just a run stuffer, not much as a rusher. I’d hope to get him at #85, maybe trade up a little bit but I think the 2nd round might be too early. 3rd round maybe, depending on who else is there. Should be some decent WRs and RBs to be had, but I want as much DL depth as I can get.

On Day3, I hope to get WR and RB if I didn’t already get one, and I’m looking for OTs too if the Lions didn’t already draft one of those. This is where you start looking for value, guys that won’t start this year but could down the road.

Thanks for the reply Wise. Concerning guards…Graham and Joe Thuney both started pretty much their whole rookie seasons in 2016. And this crop seems pretty deep but I am not even pretending to be a scout. Seems like quality OGs are sweet spots between rd. 2 and 4 every draft? I feel pretty confident that a solid starter can be added at that point. A rookie is going to have to beat out a couple vets we have and I am cool with that.

This isn’t the tread for discussing Chase Young. I want Chase if there but I think Washington ends up grabbing Chase and we get Okudah. Point is who can we find in rd. 2 that might bring additional edge value? Can we find a guy maybe in rd. 3 that would fill that role?

If we drafted say Okudah, maybe K’Lavon Chaisson or A.J. Epenesa in rd. 2 and then DT Leki Fotu…how does that affect this defense as currently built? Is that enough? Shelton depth, another edge defender and the top CB. Yes, a trade down with Okudah is great. And yes, Young and a CB in rd. 2 could be great too.

Point is does the defense have what they need to start to turn that sinking ship around?

We lost Slay, A’Shawn Robinson, Tavon Wilson, CB R. Melvin, DT Harrison and Mike Daniels.

We added safety Harmon, CB Trufant, LBer Collins and Ragland and DTs Danny Shelton and Nick Williams. We also added a veteran CB Darrly Roberts I think. If we add Okudah, an edge player and DT Leki Fotu (as a concrete example)…is that enough? Can this defense turn it around with that kind of talent infusion versus what we lost?

I added the guard stuff as we also have to replace Glasgow and I think rd. 3 can help get that done.

I am kind of hoping the Lions grab Uche on day 2 of the draft if they do not get one in the 1st. I am thinking that if the Lions are able to move back in the first and get an extra 2nd he would be a good fit and the Coaching staff is already familiar with him as a player from the Senior Bowl.

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Solid draft strategy.
I believe trading down gets us an extra fishing trip but it isn’t necessary.
Round one you can’t argue, defense all day long. Your candidates at three are Young, Okudah and Simmons. Brown for some.
I like continuing with defense where you can grab a corner if you drafted other than Okudah. Gladney, Terrell and Diggs might be there. At edge, you would have options like Yetur Gross-Metos, Epenesa, Terrell Lewis, Marlon Davidson and maybe Curtis Weaver. You might pick up a DT like Blacklock or Gallimore. You might even grab a safety like Delpit. Offensive guys like Taylor, Swift and Jefferson might be available, but we need help on the D.
We have 3 and twenty-one here in the third. You will be able to grab one of a stellar bunch with one of these two. Your options would include Bredeson, Harris, Simpson, Kindley, and several more. You could also grab Leki Fotu and wait because you can get one of these guys at 3/21 or 4/3 Throw in a receiver and you have covered some of our greatest needs with picks that can play right now.

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We can also discuss this if Chase Young IS there and we go:
Chase Young, best available CB, DT (in my opinion…I have been eyeing this guy for a while now and this article talking about the efficiency of his game solidifies my opinion of Fotu. Then grab a guard/center.

So maybe Chase Young, maybe A.J. Terrell, DT Fotu and then a guard/center. Both options are availabl to think about.

With either of those strategies in mind…is that enough to help this defense? And further…is the Chase option better than the Okudah option? I like BOTH options myself. I feel like there will be a better edge rusher available in rd. 2 versus CBs but that is just an educated guess.

I’m of the opinion no amount of rookies can “fix” this D without a scheme change of some kind. We’re a bottom 10 D. I’d love to be wrong, that a couple rookies come in and we’re top 15. Ain’t seeing it.

To be honest I am not that sold on any of the CBs in the draft after the 1st round. Just not seeing what I am looking for from these guys.

As far as DT goes Davis from Alabama has caught my eye. IMO him and Shelton can rotate as the NT. This would allow both of them to stay rested as the season moves on. He appears as a decent day 2 pick, maybe that extra 3rd the Lions picked up.

The defense must be looked at. There are things which can improve the defense for which you are not accounting:
Health. The defense will get Hand, Shelton, Trufant and Collins. They lost nada except for Slay. Harrison and Daniels ate up cap space. Trufant replaces Slay. Collins allows for position switch with Davis freeing him up to be the pass rusher role from the LB’er position. Collins will be in coverage. We improve without the draft in my opinion.

Then Stafford’s back. The offense picks up and stays on the field more and the defense improves some more by playing less. Add in what draft capital you get a much better team.

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He admits his “key stat” for DB’s is none, making it purely subjective.

Davis at NT? The guy is like 6’7", 300 lbs. That is not what you want in a NT. I think he would be a good fit here in the same role as Hand (same with Marlon Davidson) but a NT he is not.

I think Davis fits our scheme really well, but I agree that the fit is not at NT.

He can definitely 2-gap though, you basically can’t run against him. I wouldn’t call him a NT necessarily, but I think he can perform a lot of the duties of a NT. I also see him listed at 311 pounds… still on the light side but not 300.

My main question with Davis is where did that Sophomore year pass rushing productivity go? Did his roll change as an upperclassmen?

Yeah, good question. Maybe? He’s definitely asked to 2-gap and he’s so good against the run, that doesn’t surprise me. I tend to think that production was a little flukey but if it wasn’t, then we’d be getting another steal from the Alabama DL, a la Hand who was also misused. Davis is the only guy I really like along the interior after Brown and Kinlaw. (Well, Bravvion Roy too but he’s strictly a NT and should be available late).

You’re a cup half full guy. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Lions, my glass is always half empty.
We say this same thing you just said every year. Health is good now. Then 3 or 4 players go down. Every year.
Just a matter of opinion on how the team’s direction should go.

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I really like Davon Hamilton with our second third or hopefully our 4th. I think that he was behind so much talent until last year has folks sleeping on him a little bit.

One of the few guys that has the strength to probably be functional at nose while still having some pass rushing traits.

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The point of this thread is to look at additions the Lions MIGHT make on defense and then to wonder if that is enough to field a competitive defense in light of losses, free agency and then the draft.

I am openly asking this question:
If the Lions add three defenders in the first three rounds is that enough to offset what we lost in free agency and enough to be competitive on defense. It needs to also be noted that we are getting some guys back healthy…like D. Hand and Austin Bryant.

Would that be enough?

In my opinion yrs it will be. Patricia hasn’t had the pieces to do what he wants to do on defense. Now he gets them with no excuses left. But we have to add a credible CB, edge player and DT depth behind Sheton as I don’t have much faith that John Atkins can get that job done.

I like Okudah and then options and I like Chse and then options after that. Honestly I think I like Okudah and then an edge rusher the most as I like later edge rushers but I also love Chase Young.

Well, the only net loss is Slay leaving. All the others are upgrades, especially at LB with Collins. I like who we added at safety.

Give me Okudah, Anae and whichever big DT they can find that can penetrate and 2-gap.

With 3 of the 1st 4 picks being defense, yes, you’d have to say we are in line for a markedly better defense. A CB, Edge and DT are required at this point. Like, they literally HAVE to take them. The personnel they’ve assembled demands it

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That is what I am thinking Line. Luckily, this draft sets up pretty well for us overall.

Anai is another guy that could be a great fit here. I like the edge rushers who might be available in rd. 2 in this draft. Lots of solid options there and heck, even into rd. 3.

Chase and a CB in rd. 2 would also make me smile.

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