The Detroit Lions are coming off yet another disappointing year under the tenure of head coach Matt Patricia after finishing the 2019 NFL season with a 3-12-1 record. One of the few silver linings heading into the offseason is that they will have a chance to bring in a potential franchise player with the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Although the draft process has just begun, it has already been deemed a foregone conclusion that the Cincinnati Bengals will take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and the Washington Redskins will follow it up with Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. As a result, Detroit already knows full well which crop of players will be left for them and the rest of the league to work with.
Here are three potential options they should target with the No. 3 pick.
1. More Draft Picks
Unlike most teams, the Lions do not have a glaring need to fill under center with Matthew Stafford still in the mix, which puts them in a rather favorable position heading into the draft since they have a number of notable voids to fill on the roster. This could be an ideal opportunity for them to kill a few birds with one stone by potentially shoring up some draft capital.
With Burrow pegged as the frontrunner to land in Cincinnati, this leaves Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as the next best option. Since he appears to be the clear-cut, second-best quarterback in this year’s draft class, this could put a premium on his price tag for teams like the Miami Dolphins or Los Angeles Chargers.
2. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
If the Lions opt to keep their pick, they will nee to use it on a player that can provide them with an immediate return on their investment. Fortunately, Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah could fit the billing.
There has been plenty of speculation regarding the future of cornerback Darius Slay as he gets set to enter the final year of his deal and this could be a perfect time to fill a potential need in the secondary. Buckeye cornerbacks have a proven track record of success in the NFL and Okudah appears to be the next man in line to carry on that legacy following a spectacular 2019 campaign.
3. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
The Lions had the worst pass defense in the league this season after giving up 284.4 yards through the air per game. The primary reason was their inability to generate any type of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
While bringing in a blue-chip corner possibly provides an immediate solution over the top, an interior force like Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown could pay huge dividends for the secondary as a whole. Brown’s combination of size and explosiveness makes him perfectly capable of providing a hounding pass rush up the middle without the need for blitzing linebackers.