Top positions of need for Detroit Lions in the 2020 NFL Draft

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Detroit Lions
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2. Interior Defensive Line

Right now, the best interior defensive lineman the Detroit Lions boast is either Danny Shelton or Da’Shawn Hand. Hand only half counts though, as he is a versatile chess piece for the Lions, who move from lining up over the center to standing up on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle.

With no true number one defensive lineman on the roster, the Lions possess only a handful of role players such as Hand, Shelton, Kevin Strong, John Atkins, and Nick Williams. The top three pure interior defenders are Williams (mainly a pass-rusher, though average at best), Shelton (primarily for run-defense), and Strong (an undrafted rookie just one year ago).

If the Detroit Lions are to improve in pressuring opposing quarterbacks, they will need to add a truly dynamic interior rusher to the defense. Someone who can regularly beat double teams on the inside and who can win with not just either speed or power, but with both on regular occasions.

Finding someone like this outside of the first round in this year’s 2020 NFL Draft will be difficult. There are very few immediate inside rushers who can win from day one in the NFL. That’s why you should keep a very close watch on South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw should the Lions trade down and miss out on Ohio State’s top corner, Jeffrey Okudah.

Kinlaw is a monster pass rusher, who is explosive off the ball and contains tremendous upper and lower-body power. If the Lions can’t land Kinlaw in round one, listen for the commissioner to call Texas A&M’s Justin Madubuike in round two or three, and maybe Georgia’s Tyler Clark come round five.