Re-drafting the 2019 NFL draft

Round 1 - Pick 8

Ed Oliver DL

NFL DRAFT • SOPH • 6’1" / 287 LBS

The Lions had Oliver sitting there, ready to be taken, in the 2019 draft but opted for T.J. Hockenson instead. Oliver would give Detroit the interior pass rush it desperately needs.

  1. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
    8 OF 32

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Original Selection: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

While the Jaguars pass on Ed Oliver, the Detroit Lions do not. They need defensive help—Detroit finished the year 31st in total defense—and Oliver is the best defender still on the board.

While an edge-rusher or cornerback would also make sense, Oliver is too rare a talent to bypass. He can stonewall runners at the line of scrimmage and penetrate the backfield to disrupt opposing quarterbacks. This season, he amassed 43 tackles, five sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble with the Buffalo Bills—who originally drafted him one spot later.

Originally, the Lions took former Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson in this spot. While his upside is intriguing, Hockenson was limited to 12 games and seven starts. He flashed at times but finished his rookie season with just 367 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 32 catches.

Oliver is the safer pick and fills the greater need, so Detroit grabs him.


Unless I missed it, Hockenson wasn’t even in the first round and Fant and Irv Smith were…ughh!!!

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Mock Drafts one year after the draft are pointless.

Ugh is right! I like Hockenson and think he will have a good career, one worthy of a 2nd or 3rd round selection. He will never live up to that top 10 pick (not his fault), and that will lead to his 2nd NFL contract getting inked elsewhere (‘fresh start’ label). I think the writing is on the wall.


Definitely the guy I wanted the Lions to draft. He looked good for the Bills last year.

Are they?

Hmm…I don’t know, I think it’s kind of a good evaluation to go back and review previous drafts. If your GM is constantly missing it’s a bit telling, no? Similarly, if your GM is doing well in hindsight, that’s good to see.

Pointless? Not sure I can agree good sir.


Yes, pointless because it’s virtually impossible to properly evaluate a draft after 1 year. The re-draft is likely to look a lot different this time next year and will probably be more accurate since these players will be more established and a larger sample size can be drawn from.

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Ah ok - It’s a semantics thing here.

I don’t agree that it’s “pointless” at all still, but I do agree that it becomes more accurate and meaningful each year removed from the draft. Completely agree with that - 100%.

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I wanted Oliver and was crushed when they passed on him for Hockenson. DL has always remained a major need under Quinn.


While this maybe true.

Do you think had the Lions taken Oliver they would be a stronger team heading into 2020?

I do.

I liked Oliver better as a prospect, but figured he would probably be playing Flowers position here if we drafted him, and we had just signed Flowers so not taking him made sense. Still doesn’t excuse drafting a TE top 10.

Ugh, two prospects I wanted with our 2nd round pick are on both of these redrafts, McCoy and Metcalf. Yes I firmly believe I can draft better than Quinn.