Ed Hervey took a very different approach in free agency than Buono ever did and we will have to see if that extends into the draft as a new era in BC is underway.
Picks: 7 picks, first selection is 3rd Overall
2017 Draft Assessment: Overall not a bad draft. They used their 2 first round picks on guys who had minimal impact in year 1 but should see larger roles in year 2 (Danny Vandervoot, Junior Luke). They also nabbed a couple of solid special teamers in the later rounds in Herdman (7th rd) and Chagnon (3rd rd) who had 19 and 11 special teams tackles respectively. The big hurt was losing 2nd round pick Jeremy Zver to the Riders. Zver was always viewed as a developmental project but for a team whose OL played as poorly as it did to lose the only OL it drafted is definitely a setback. Incidentally, Zver became the 3rd Lion draft pick to be poached by Chris Jones in the past 2 seasons. Can’t imagine Jones got a Christmas card from the Buonos (though I can’t imagine he gets Christmas cards from many people).
Potential Pipeline: DL Christian Covington (NFL - Houston), OL Brett Boyko (NFL - San Diego)
Current Strengths: With the emergence of Shaq Johnson along with Vandervoot and Watson, the Lions are suddenly pretty strong at receiver. They found a real gem in kicker Ty Long last season who locked down all 3 kicking jobs as a rookie. I think David Menard is a very underrated D-lineman and they have Junior Luke to help build depth there. They also have a good crop of depth/ST guys like Lumbala, Herdman, Chagnon and Parker.
Current Needs: Over the past 5 years BC has drafted 8 O-lineman and when you factor out the 5 no longer with the team and the one currently in the NFL it leaves them just 2 OL to show for 5 years of drafting. Not saying that is the sole reason their OL was garbage last year but that’s gotta be a contributing factor. Their line was awful and they have done little to remedy the interior. So that is priority 1,2 and possibly 3. If they are intent on playing a Cdn safety then I would recommend starting to groom some people behind Cauchy Muamba (who I don’t think is very good incidentally).
Prediction: I will be shocked if Hervey doesn’t take OL with his first 2 picks like he did in 2015 with Edmonton. From there he may look to add a receiver to the mix or look for guys on defense. Hervey is also not afraid to take the risk and draft a guy who is NFL-bound so that’s something to watch for. Sometimes it works out (like Arjen Colquoun), more times it does not (Stefan Charles, Tevaughn Smith).