As he has done many times in his tenure with BC, Wally Buono enters the draft with 2 first rounders. This time thanks to sending a QB that had yet to play a snap to a bottom dwelling team.
Picks: 9 picks, first selection is 3rd Overall
2016 Draft Assessment: Draft was all about building depth for the Lions. The picked up OL Charles Vaillancourt in round 1, DB Anthony Thompson in Round 2 and WR Brett Blazko in Round 3. Limited impact for all 3 year 1 but certainly provided needed depth and all could see their roles increase in year 2.
Potential Pipeline: DL Christian Covington (NFL - Houston), OL Brett Boyko (NFL - San Diego)
Current Strengths: The interior of their OL has improved over recent years with Steward, Husband and Fabien in the middle. They have Vaillancourt for depth as well as newcomer Foucault who they may choose to audition at tackle. I like David Menard along their D-line and they now have Ainsworth for depth. At receiver they have Ianuzzi and Gore (who everyone seemed to assume was going to retire but hasn’t yet). They also have a good core of unheralded Canadian role players like FB Rolly Lumbala, RB Shaq Murray-Lawrence, LBs Jason Aragki and Adrian Clarke. I was going to mention that they were solid at safety with Edem backed up by Thompson and Fraser but it sounds like Edem is on the outs and they are headed to an import safety.
Current Needs: Need to restock the defensive shelves to compensate for the losses like Bo Lokombo and Jabar Westerman. Also, I would be looking to add depth at WR as insurance for Gore. Also, if they are serious about Foucault playing tackle then more depth at OL is needed to move to 4 starting Cdn OL. If they are going import safety then they need another Canadian starter somewhere. Logically I’m guessing DL is where they would look so that certainly becomes a priority.
Prediction: The Lions are the most likely to strike a deal to trade up or down in the first round. With the benefit of 2 first round picks I could see them trading one to get more picks in round 2/3. I expect them to emerge from round 1 with 2 linemen, 1 O one D. The O-lineman may be someone like Mason Woods who they may have to wait on a bit. Second round could see them target an LB to help reinforce special teams after losing their best special teamer in Lokombo.
Good reviews. Looking forward to your take on the Riders. I expect you'll get lots of comments. I can't say I am upbeat about Rider prospects for the coming year. Not much left of the FA signings in 2016 & the draft IMO was a disaster.
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