It’s that time of year again fam where us Lions fans look to the Draft for optimism. We’re technically still ‘in the hunt’ for the playoffs, but the chances aren’t likely and would need a lot of dominoes to fall. Not sure yet what draft position we’ll be in, but it’s safe to say we need a lot of help on defense, so let’s take a look at my top prospects that Detroit should draft on that side of the ball:
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The 6-3, 245 pound linebacker is one of the top prospects overall regardless of position and could be drafted in the top-5, which would be out of the Lions likely draft range, but theres a chance he could fall due to the need for quarterbacks. Parsons was a consensus All-American in 2019 and was named the Big Ten’s linebacker of the year after he recorded 109 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 5 passes defended, and 4 forced fumbles. He originally came to Happy Valley in 2018 as a 5-star DE recruit before switching to MLB. His versatility makes NFL GM’s drool as he can rush off the edge, drop back in pass coverage, and play off the ball. The Lions have so many holes on defense, especially at linebacker, so if they can get a guy who can line up in multiple positions that’d be a slam dunk. Parsons opted out of the 2020 college football season
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)
Another freak player that can line up in multiple positions is the 6-7, 265 pound d-lineman out of Da U. He’s listed as a DE, but he has had success lining up at DT as well during his time in Coral Gables. He also opted out of the 2020 season and only has less than a year of experience under his belt, so he’s sort of raw, but the ceiling couldn’t be higher.
He wasn’t starting to begin the 2019 season and he still led the ACC in sacks with 15.5 and was only second in the entire nation to Chase Young who you might’ve heard of. He needs to develop more pass-rushing moves, but he can take over any game with his physical traits and the Lions are desperate for a difference maker on defense.
Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
The 6-4, 277 pound edge rusher is another athletic freak and anchored his 4×100 track team in high school. He sets the line of scrimmage, can take on double teams, and is a fantastic bull rusher. He also can defend the run which might be the Lions #1 weakness this year. He doesn’t have the length that Rousseau has, but if GR is already off the board then Detroit will definitely take a serious look at Paye.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Owusu-Koramoah made his presence known in ND’s big win over Clemson earlier this season. He was flying around all over the field and gave the Tigers’ offense fits all night. He had a key forced fumbled which he returned for a touchdown, to go along with 0.5 sacks and 2.5 TFL.
Jeremiah’s speed and athleticism allows him to close in fast on ball carriers, drop back in coverage, and blitz. He is the perfect mold for the modern NFL player and sort of reminds me of former Michigan standout and current Pittsburgh Steeler Devin Bush, who a lot of Lions fans wanted to draft.
Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami (FL)
Another edge rusher from The U who wears #15. Phillips was the #1 overall recruit in the country when he first went to UCLA, but injuries made him temporarily retire and contemplate his future in football before deciding to transfer to Coral Gables and lace em up again. He was really skinny when he came to Miami, but after redshirting the 2019 season and working out the entire time with strength coach David Feeley, he bulked up into a monster.
He’s very quick off the line of scrimmage and is both great in stopping the run and rushing the passer. He makes his presence known in every game he plays and has a constant motor to the end of every play.
Richard LeCounte III, Safety, Georgia
The Lions badly need a safety who can be a quarterback in the secondary and be reliable in coverage, which they haven’t had since Glover Quin. LeCounte is that dude. He’s a playmaker with great instincts for the ball and can play centerfield. Also is good at communicating with his corners and making check calls on plays. If Detroit can land him in the second round that’d be an A+ pick.
Chazz Surratt, LB, UNC
The former QB-turned linebacker has been the leader of the Tar Heels defense for the past two years. At 6-3, 230 pounds, he has the physical traits needed to be an NFL LB as well as the mental intangibles to be a leader on any defense. His great range and mobility allows him to make plays all over the field. He can easily change directions, drop back in coverage, and closes gaps fast when blitzing. If he can clean up his tackling, he’ll be a star for whoever drafts him.