2019 NFL Mock Draft: Attacking and protecting young quarterbacks

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks looks to pass in the first quarter against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks looks to pass in the first quarter against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /
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COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 25: Clelin Ferrell COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 25: Clelin Ferrell #99 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

. DE. Clemson. Clelin Ferrell. 10. player. 50

Surprisingly the Detroit Lions enter week seven in the basement of a very close NFC North race. A surprise run by Chicago and some lackluster games from Minnesota have kept the division close, but Detroit remains at the bottom for now.

A lot of that can change for Detroit in a couple of games, especially with five inter-division games remaining, including both of their games against Chicago and Minnesota.

Unless something changes Matthew Stafford will continue to be the quarterback despite never getting Detroit past the wild card game. It’s been nothing but mediocre from Detroit for years.

Detroit is locked in with Stafford going forward, so their best bet is to keep building the team around him and replace some key free agents.

Ziggy Ansah and Golden Tate are scheduled to be free agents after this season. Given the price tag each could command it’s unlikely Detroit keeps both. It’ll come down to paying Ansah top dollar as a pass rusher or keeping Tate at a reasonable number to maintain a quality receiving corp for Stafford.

If Ansah is gone after serving this year on the franchise tag the Lions have to invest in the defensive line. Ricky Jean Francois and Sylvester Williams are also free agents at the end of the season, making the Lions job even tougher.

Clelin Ferrell replaces Ansah at defensive end and provides immediate production as a pass rusher. The Clemson lineman has at least six sacks in each of his last three years and had 9.5 last year.