The Detroit Lions saw another disappointing season take place in 2019, with the team finishing with a 3-12-1 record. After another dismal season under Matt Patricia, the Lions will have plenty of options with the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Even though Detroit won just nine games over the past two seasons, they decided to give Patricia another chance in 2020. Given that he’s on the hot seat, the results of this year’s draft could help determine his fate for the 2021 season.
With the third overall pick, the Lions could decide to add a cornerstone player on the defensive side of the ball. On the other hand, Detroit could also trade back with a team that is looking to draft a quarterback.
The two most sensible teams that could be calling the Lions for the No. 3 pick are the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers. Of course, the Dolphins could probably offer the better package of draft capital since they have 14 total draft picks.
But for the sake of this exercise, we’ll refrain from having Detroit send its first-round pick to another team. Taking that into consideration, here is a prediction for who the Lions will select with the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jeffrey Okudah (CB, Ohio State)
Earlier in the offseason, there were rumors that the Lions could decide to use the third pick on a quarterback. However, Bob Quinn — Detroit’s general manager — vehemently denied that the team would add a quarterback with Matthew Stafford returning in 2020.
Provided that, if the Lions are on the clock when the third pick comes, there’s one sensible choice for them to make in the first round: Jeffrey Okudah out of Ohio State.
For quite some time, Okudah has been considered the best cornerback available in this year’s draft. Throughout his first two collegiate seasons, Okudah combined for 49 tackles and deflections.
While he flashed upside in his first two seasons, he took a massive leap in his final season at Ohio State. As a junior in 2019, Okudah notched 34 tackles, nine pass breakups, and three interceptions.
Just last week, the Lions reluctantly traded Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles. Before trading Slay, Detroit did manage to ink a deal with Desmond Trufant. However, even with Trufant, Slay’s departure leaves a huge void in Detroit’s secondary.
What better way than to replace Slay with the best cornerback available in the draft? In the event that the Lions maintain the No. 3 pick, there’s no doubt that Okudah is the perfect fit for what Patricia wants on defense.