With the eighth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select…
8. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary DE | Michigan
I’m sure head coach Matt Patricia and the Lions were hoping for a better finish than their 6-10 record this past season. Still, they have put together a solid offensive line and seemed to have finally found a running game after drafting Kerryon Johnson in the second round last year and signing CJ Anderson to a one year deal this offseason. In addition to Anderson, Detroit brought in some more depth in both the passing game (tight end Jesse James and wide receiver Danny Amendola) as well as the secondary (cornerbacks Rashaan Melvin and Justin Coleman). Their biggest prize addition however was defensive end Trey Flowers, formally of the New England Patriots. The Lions have failed to produce a double digit sack artist when defensive end Ziggy Ansah is not on the field, which has been the case two of the last four years. Ansah is now a free agent and his spot will be filled by Flowers. Flowers himself has yet to produce a double digit sack season in his young career but Patricia and the Lions are betting on him. Even with the signing of Flowers I believe the Lions should double down at the position and draft another pass rusher. Most mocks drafts I’ve seen have the Lions taking Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat here, but with Sweat already off the board, I have Detroit opting to select Michigan’s Rashan Gary.
Many mock draft experts have Gary going to the Giants and Sweat to the Lions and that very well may be the case come draft night, but I like Gary to Detroit for a couple of reasons. First, Gary played his college ball less than an hour away from the Lions home stadium. Second, while Gary’s college production has been questioned compared to some of the other top pass rushers in this years draft, (after posting .5, 5.5 and 3.5 sacks in his three years at Michigan) Gary’s best football may lie ahead of him similar to Trey Flowers. Third, Gary’s NFL comparison according to Lance Zierlein is none other than Ziggy Ansah. This feels like a match made in heaven.