The Detroit Lions have had a total of 52 meetings with players in preparation for the 2019 NFL Draft. Here is what you need to know about them, writes Adam Cook.
As of now, the Detroit Lions have met with 52 players while preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft. The draft is less than three weeks away.
Teams are allowed an unlimited amount of “public” workouts and meetings. These meetings can be conducted in the presence of any other team. This includes at the combine, a pro day, a local workout/ camp, or at any type of all-star game after the NCAA season.
In addition to that, every team can hold up to 30 private meetings, no matter if it is at the team’s own facility or an agreed upon venue. All of these meetings ensure that a team can sit down one-on-one with the player and make sure they are right for the team. These meetings are generally reserved for players that the team has a genuine interest in. But they can always be used as a smokescreen for other teams on draft day, or even as a scouting tool to find weaknesses at the next level.
It has been well documented that Lions general manager Bob Quinn and the current front office staff have not always been as straightforward or easy to read as the media would like. Everyone is always trying their best to predict how the draft will pan out, and generally speaking, very few are successful.
What history shows:
Last year, Quinn didn’t have any sort of meeting with two of his favorite picks. They were first-rounder Frank Ragnow and third-rounder Tracy Walker. Ragnow admitted on draft day that he didn’t know the Lions even had interest in drafting him. But when Walker was selected, evidently the draft room erupted with joy.
These types of stories have been common with the new front office in Allen Park, and it is easy to suspect that something similar may happen again this year.
Then again, there are always the pre-draft visits that you can read into and use to attempt to get inside the mind of Quinn. He spent his private meetings on Kerryon Johnson, Deshaun Hand, and Tyrell Crosby, all of whom where drafted.
It is also worth noting that the Lions had many visits with quarterbacks, tight ends, cornerbacks, and linebackers last season. While the team did not draft any of them, they showed their concern about the need to improve those groups.
Rewinding back to 2017, you see much of the same from the Lions. First-round pick Jarrad Davis never had a formal meeting with Lions staff, and neither did fourth-rounder Jaylen Reeves-Maybin. However, the Lions did meet with Kenny Golladay, Teez Tabor, Jamal Agnew, and Michael Roberts.
Despite not selecting one, they also used a significant amount of visits scouting the offensive and defensive line positions, knowing that this was an area of concern.
What to know about 2019:
The Lions are a hard team to try to predict. They have made selections that we should have seen coming. But on the flip-side, they have made picks that caught everyone off guard.
This season, good ‘ol Bob Quinn has even gone all-out with the fog machine. He has spent those ever-so-important pre-draft visits on all of the top players in the draft. They include those that seemingly have no chance of falling to No. 8, such as Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa, and Josh Allen.
The Lions have also had a considerable investment in finding an adequate edge rusher. 13 of the 52 players they have met with play there (or could, in head coach Matt Patricia’s hybrid defense).
The team has also done due diligence on the cornerback (seven visits), tight end (eight visits) and wide receiver (six visits) positions. Also scattered in are three or four from each position group of quarterbacks, running backs, offensive guards, inside linebackers, and safeties.
It’s hard to predict what the Lions will do with the information on players that they have gathered this offseason. Who knows how the draft will play out?
Mid-Round Player Meetings
What you could try to do, however, is look into some of the mid-round selections. Detroit has used 30 private visits on players that could be mid-round selections. It can always be beneficial to remember their name if or when it is called on draft day. This is whether or not they don a new Honolulu blue cap.
N’Keal Harry (WR), Dawson Knox (TE), Johnathan Abram (S), Derrick Baity (CB), LJ Collier (DE), Taylor Rapp (S), and Jace Sternberger (TE) are all second round area guys that the Lions have had private meetings with.
The Lions have also shown interest in a multitude of other mid-round players. They include Charles Harris (DE), Tyree Jackson (QB), Ka’Dar Hollman (CB), David Long (CB), Nasir Adderly (S), Blessaun Austin (CB), Sean Bunting (CB), Blake Cashman (ILB), Blace Brown (CB), Maxx Crosby (DE), Berkley Edwards (RB/WR), and Karan Higdon (RB).
Tying It All Together
By no means does this mean the Lions have strong intentions of picking any of these names come draft day. But as a true Lions fan, it never hurts to look into what the front office is up to. A simple Google search can find you all of the information you need to know about these guys.
The ability to predict the draft is next to impossible. Mock drafts are always wrong.
That’s just reality. But it sure is fun to take in the excitement leading up to draft day 2019.
Enjoy it, Lions fans.