Shep's Take: Clean and Needed

There was plenty of tension and question marks surrounding day one of the NFL Draft. Fortunately for Lions fans, their organization wasn't involved.

The Lions were in need (and still are) of defensive play makers; they were in need of guys who could start right away and play every down.

They didn't need a "project" or a guy you "would take a chance on."

With an early run on offensive players, the Lions had the enviable opportunity of choosing between a number of immediate starters: Jarrad Davis, Reuben Foster, Charles Harris, Taco Charlton, TJ Watt.

As you know by now, they selected Davis, the linebacker out of Florida.

He'll be labeled a "safe pick," which I think is unfair.

He's a clean pick, who addresses a serious need.

Davis is said to be a film hog; a workout warrior, who is versatile, and productive.

Pro Football Focus had a stat on Davis stating he was targeted 66 times in deep coverage and he allowed just one reception.  We all know how much tight ends burned the Lions over the last two years. (last year TE's caught 93 passes and 10 td's against Detroit)

Davis is tough and is yoked with high character.

That doesn't mean he's boy scout.  It mean's he's a quality leader and teammate.

That's a good thing!

I originally preferred Foster-the tackling machine from Alabama.

But there's a reason the best linebacker dropped and it wasn't because of the diluted sample from the NFL combine. It was because of a deeper concern over his shoulder injuries and some of the questionable influences in his life.

Davis doesn't need baby-sitting or any extra motivation.

If I'm a general manager in any sport, I don't want to worry about motivating draft picks; I don't want my coaches to hold a players hand when he's away from the training facility.

No one is perfect, but Lions General Manager Bob Quinn said, "You minimize risk when you take guys without issues."

That's well said and words to remember as the draft enters day two. 

My hope is the Lions can address a pass rusher (Jordan Willis, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Carl Lawson, Demarcus Walker) and cover corner (Quincy Wilson, Fabian Moreau, Jalen Tabor or Rasul Douglas) in today's second and third round.

Why?

Well because if we think this team is close to overtaking the Packers in the division, they must stop Aaron Rodgers and you do that with pass rushers and cover corners, something the Lions lack.

Look, if the Lions grab a running back in the third round, I guess I could understand because the cornerback position in this draft is deep and they might be able to get quality in the fourth, but it's an area that needs to addressed.

Quinn and his staff are off to a good start.  I hope it continues with quality needs and players this weekend.

Matt Shepard

Matt Shepard

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