Why Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith makes sense for the Detroit Lions

Gone from the Detroit Lions roster is pretty much all the wide receivers from the past few seasons. In with the new. Some players signed during free agency will add much needed speed, but by and large the Detroit Lions need to remake the receiver group from the draft. The Lions currently hold the #7 overall draft pick. A player who in my opinion would go a long way in retooling the downfield attack is former Alabama Crimson Tide receiver DeVonta Smith.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 05: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY through Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Approval by the Heisman Trust will be needed for any usage thereafter or any Commercial usage requests at any point.) Wide receiver DeVonta Smith of the Alabama Crimson Tide poses with the Heisman Memorial Trophy on January 05, 2021 in New York, New York. (Photo by Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via Getty Images)

Heisman Trophy Winner DeVonta Smith is not the biggest wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. But that is just fine. He may be among the fastest and also Smith contains some intangibles that may prove to be too much for the Detroit Lions to pass up.

During the COVID shortened college football season, Smith put up some eye popping numbers. Smith’s numbers and talent has made him a top 10 prospect, with 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and a total of 24 touchdowns in 13 games  and lead the country in 20+ yard targets in becoming the first wide receiver since Michigan Wolverines, Desmond Howard (1991) in winning the Heisman Trophy.

Standing 6 foot 1 inch, DeVonta Smith is not over imposing. Once the ball is snapped however Smith shows elite skill. Not only did Smith win the Heisman but he was also named the MVP of the Alabama offense.

For a team looking to build a roster and team into a playoff contending franchise, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes should give drafting DeVonta Smith serious consideration.

Smith can be a game breaking player and give real life to the Detroit Lions passing attack. Sure the Lions have holes aplenty all over the current roster. One draft will not and can not fix that. But for a franchise looking to build a team with speed. DeVonta Smith would be a next to perfect fit.

With roster holes and needs all over, look at who the Detroit Lions could target in the 2021 NFL Draft

Following a 5-11 season that saw the dismissal of general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia the Detroit Lions are starting over. New Lions GM Brad Holmes and the Lions scouting department are currently hard at work evaluating talent and coming up for a draft day “big board.” The Lions have holes all over the roster and are set to embark on a lengthy rebuild. So who could the franchise target with the #7 pick in the first round? Let’s take a look.

The 2021 NFL Draft is set, Thursday, April 29- May 1. It has been a while since the Detroit Lions have won a playoff game, 1991 to be exact. Brad Holmes is now being charged with changing the narrative that the Detroit Lions can not be a winning franchise.

It is safe to say the Detroit Lions will not be a winning team for at least two seasons and more likely three. That is alright. It is more important that Holmes and company get the draft picks right in order to build a core of players to build around.

In my opinion the Detroit Lions have three position groups that stand out as needing the most attention. In no certain order. Keep in mind that all of the Lions issues and needs will not be fixed in one draft.

  1. Wide Receiver:  Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola are all going to be gone and need to be replaced.  2020 fifth-rounder Quintez Cephus
    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – DECEMBER 20: Quintez Cephus #87 of the Detroit Lionsplays against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

    is a player who has proven he can be part of the Lions receiving future. Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle are all wide receivers who could and should be there when Detroit picks at #7. Any one of the three would be a big welcome.

2. Linebacker: I will try to be nice here, but the facts are that the linebackers were (and as of right now still are) a hot mess of bad. The Lions linebackers are void of athleticism and energy. There appears to be only one linebacker worthy of a top 10 pick and that player is  Penn State’s Micah Parsons. Parsons is by far the most versatile linebacker in this class. Parsons would instantly be the Lions top linebacker if selected.


3. Quarterback: Yes, Jared Goff will be the Detroit Lions starting quarterback this season and perhaps next season. Brad Holmes said he likes the quarterbacks in this years draft. One of Trey Lance, Justin Fields and  Zach Wilson, could be there at #7. If Holmes goes quarterback it is because he and the scouting department agree on a player enough to make them the franchise QB.

There you have it. These are the positions and some players who I believe the Detroit Lions are looking into. We will know for sure next month when the 2021 NFL Draft rolls out.

Some names to remember for the Detroit Lions 2020 draft

Embed from Getty Images As many of you know, I do not like mock drafts. They are rarely accurate. Oh sure people nail the first pick in the draft, shoot they may even nail the first three picks. Then it falls apart. I like to look at team needs, general manager tendencies as well as organizational needs. That lead me to accurately zero in on the Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick Moritz Seider, right here at “The District a sports blog.”

The 2019 Detroit Lions short comings are well known and most stem from the defensive side of the ball. Be it player personnel or scheme. So in next spring’s NFL draft who could the Lions be looking at for the teams first round draft pick? Let us take a look.

With Darius Slay both getting older and having a dip in play, the team could look to corner back. Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State, may fit the bill. At 6′ 1″ 194 pounds, Wade has both the size and length to be a solid NFL defensive back. While he plays the slot, Wade is projected to move to the outside in the pros. He is a shutdown corner and very aggressive on run support.

Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State, If the Detroit Lions choose to move on from offensive tackle Rick Wagner, Cleveland checks all the boxes. 6’6″ 311 pounds, with long arms and has plus athleticism, Ezra Cleveland is sound in both pass and run blocking, something the Detroit Lions need more of.

Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A & M, this is a player I really like. I can not stress that enough. He is a perfect fit for what the Lions are trying to do on defense. First and foremost he is an edge rusher. For his size 300 pounds, Madubuike has incredible flexibility and a plus rating in power and balance, that allows him to consistently fill the gaps and generate pocket pressure for himself and his teammates. With both A’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels set to be free agents, Justin Madubuike is a name to watch.

I believe, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn (if he is not relived of his duties) will go defensive heavy in next springs draft. If there is an offensive tackle worthy of a top-ten draft slot Quinn could go that route. But, given last seasons desperate need for a tight end, watching how Quinn attacked that, I fully expect his to use that same aggression for the defense.

Detroit Lions: it is draft day

Embed from Getty Images Today players who have worked to get to the NFL will get the call. Some early and some late. For the Detroit Lions, it is a very important draft for a team on the cusp to take the next step.

Bob Quinn, Detroit general manager seems to have a rule of thumb about the players he selects. Much like the New England Patriots for whom Quinn, used to work for. He seems to go for dependable players. Over splash and hyped players.

The Detroit Lions, who currently hold the #20 pick in the first round could have their pick of a defensive stand out. Or a much needed running back. Two players I like are Alabama’s defensive end Da’ Ron Payne or LSU running back Derrius Guice.

I am not a general manager, It is very possible Bob Quinn, is locked into some other player. By looking at his past draft picks. Quinn, is going to get players who are both dependable and consistent in their play.

Big names be damned. It is about bring the Detroit Lions, more consistent play across the board. They are very close to being a very good football team. But, there is work to be done.

It is always fun to see the look on players faces as their name is called. It is also fun to play couch general manager and comb over the draft picks. With Bob Quinn, and his Patriots ties I personally have a hard time seeing Detroit, select a running back in the first round.

This is a very deep talented  draft for running backs. So good talent can be found in the second through last round of the draft. It also provides the team with better value for the draft pick.

So starting tonight the 2018 Detroit Lions, roster will start to take shape. And hopefully a step closer to a championship.

Detroit Lions to move up, down or stay put?

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, has gone on record as saying he would like to acquire more draft picks. With team needs at offensive guard, running back and defensive end he should have his pick in a deep draft at those positions.

I believe the Detroit Lions should stay put. Unless they have fallen in love with a prospect during the 2018 NFL combine. In my opinion there are only 2 offensive guards worth drafting in the first round. There is one clear cut defensive end available. This is a running back deep draft.
Unless Bob Quinn is prepared to give up multiple draft picks to move up the team should stay right where they are. I believe Quinn tipped his hat when he said he would like to attain more draft picks.
The Lions could get more draft picks moving up they would lose picks as it generally costs too much to move up in the draft.
I also, believe staying put gives Detroit the opportunity to draft a player who can step in and help immediately. Detroit Lions fans probably will not know what will happen until draft day. Bob Quinn generally drafts well.
The the anticipation is what draws us in.