The Detroit Lions are fading fast in the 2019 season, and for fans, the only answer is to continue to look toward the NFL Draft for some solace.
With Detroit now chasing a top selection, thoughts turn to the draft and who the team might be able to pick up when they select. To that end, a new name was thrown into the hopper by Pro Football Focus.
Recently, PFF put forth a new mock draft, and the Lions were given Iowa pass rusher A.J. Epenesa by Michael Renner. Here’s a look at what Renner wrote about why PFF had Epenesa pegged to Detroit:
“After a lackluster start to the year, Epenesa has shown down the stretch that he’s a talent worthy of a top-10 selection. Over his last six games, Epenesa has racked up 28 pressures and a pass-rushing grade over 90.0. His versatility is perfect for Matt Patricia’s scheme and would give them a lot of options opposite Trey Flowers.”
In his career with the Hawkeyes, Epenesa has put up 24 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 97 tackles in three seasons. He’s been one of the more explosive pass rushers in the Big Ten and has stated his case to perhaps be a top selection in next year’s draft.
Arguably, the Lions need pass rush help the most in 2020, and if they couldn’t get their hands on Chase Young, Epenesa would be the second best choice. Detroit remains on the move for a high draft pick after this season.
Recent Lions Draft Results
After a tough 6-10 finish to the 2018 season, Detroit finished with a top 10 pick at No. 8. They were able to snag tight end T.J. Hockenson, who’s been one of the offensive bright spots thus far this season. That proves overall how a painful finish can lead to some better players.
As a whole, Detroit has done a decent job in recent drafts getting talent that can compete on the roster immediately. Last season’s top three picks are playing a major role for the team this season. Names such as Taylor Decker, Kenny Golladay, Jarrad Davis, Graham Glasgow and Tracy Walker are also playing a big role for the team when they are healthy and engaged.
While there have been a few mistakes, Quinn has done a decent job to identify talent with some of the picks he has made thus far …read more