By Dan Leach
With the NFL draft just hours away now from the Windy City, the fanfare and excitement might not be the same as it was last year when the Lions has the overall #10 pick in the first round. This years first round pick and draft overall is even more important as Detroit comes off just their third playoff appearance since 1999.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: The Political Road Ahead
There are so many directions the Lions could go with the 23rd pick if they keep it, as the team needs to address the O-line, D-line, and backfield with their early round picks. Here are my top 3 best possibilities for the Honolulu Blue and Silver in the first round.
3-DT-EDDIE GOLDMAN- FLORIDA STATE (6-4 336 POUNDS)
The Lions lost one of the game best in the last two decades in Ndamukong Suh and replaced him with a cheese grader in Haloti Ngata, but still have depth issues on the D Line. Goldman won a national title at FSU in 2014 and is a truly disruptive presence.
Suh was a tremendous run defender and Goldman will help the Lions not skip much of a beat there as he was simply one of the best in the country the past two seasons. He would fit perfectly with the two edges in Jason Jones and Ziggy Ansah, who is primed for an All-Pro year, and playing next to Ngata would help Goldman grow exponentially early in his career.
2-OT/G-D.J HUMPHRIES- FLORIDA (6-5 307 POUNDS)
The Lions have to continue to upgrade their offensive line , which was great in 2013 , but very inconsistent in 2014. Humphries, who has created a ton of buzz as of late from NFL scouts, played in the SEC so he was up against some of the nations toughest defensive lines. He has great size and length and is an excellent run blocker. One of the most athletic offensive lineman in the entire draft, he would be the perfect compliment to go along with the burgeoning Larry Warford at G, and Riley Reiff at tackle and the future at C in Travis Swanson.
Humphries could be an instant starter and help the Lions running game go from inconsistent to steady in a matter of months.
1-RB-MELVIN GORDON-WISCONSIN (6-1 215 POUNDS)
I know some will say you have to build an offensive line or it doesn’t matter who is running behind it, but Gordon is simply too good to pass up on. Although it was short lived, Gordon broke the NCAA single game rushing record last season rushing for 408 yards … IN THREE QUARTERS, against Nebraska last season. He’s tremendously explosive with rare speed and a threat to score on any carry.
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Gordon alongside Joique Bell could end up being one of the sneaky best backfields in the league, if he is able to make the transition to the NFL’s size and speed shortly like I believe he can and then some.