With the rush of free agency in the rear view mirror it is time to focus in on the NFL Draft, specifically on team needs. In this article we look at the Detroit Lions draft needs for 2016 as we approach the April 28th first round from Chicago. After an 11 wins and a playoff appearance in 2014 the Lions came back down to earth in 2015, finishing with just 7 wins and general disappointment. Jim Caldwell kept his job, but there will be a short leash for him in 2016. So if he is to avoid his seat getting too hot come the new season what holes should he fill in the Lions roster?
The Lions have long been looking for someone to play next to Calvin Johnson, now they are looking for the next Calvin Johnson. Megatron’s retirement took many by surprise but he gave the Lions enough warning for them to throw money at Marvin Jones. But Jones is no Calvin, few are. So the Lions need to bring in as many options as possible for Matthew Stafford to get the ball to now he can no longer just put it up in the vague direction of a Hall of Fame worthy receiver.
The Lions continue to have problems at tackle, they had three equally awful players go through the right tackle position last year leading to a lot of protection problems. While Riley Reiff has performed well enough to allow the Lions to shop for a right tackle they could still draft an improvement on him and move Reiff back to the right side. Their best option probably lies with taking a tackle in the first round. Drafting at #16 the Lions should find Taylor Decker (Ohio St) or Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) still available, both of which are strong left tackle options.
While Ziggy Ansah has been a roaring success since being drafted 5th overall in 2013 there is no one to play opposite him and take some of the pressure and blocking away. Devin Taylor had a reasonable year but it was an extreme jump from his previous production. Bringing in a second top level pass rusher would help out the coverage unit and free Ansah up to cause more havoc in 2016.