The Detroit Lions will have a new head coach and general manager in 2021 as they try to return the roar to Motor City after finishing 5-11 with just one home win in 2020. Lions QB Matthew Stafford's status with the team remains uncertain, but Detroit has the chance to add some key players in the 2021 NFL draft.
Detroit has the No. 7 overall pick, so here are three players the Lions will likely consider in the first round.
3. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
DeVonta Smith was the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner and he's a talented speedster that could replace the potential loss of Lions unrestricted free agent WR Kenny Golladay or veteran Marvin Jones. The slight 6-foot 1, 175-pound star has strong hands and skill as a route runner. Smith is a game breaker, and led the FBS in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,641) and receiving touchdowns (20) this season. He also set the all-time SEC record for most career touchdowns, demonstrating his sustained greatness in college.
2. Gregory Rousseau, edge, Miami
This may not offer value taking the raw talent of Gregory Rousseau at No. 7, but he has very attractive physical traits. Rousseau opted out last season, although he had 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his only college season in 2019. He's a fluid athlete who possesses speed and power coming off the corner and also excelled when asked playing on the interior. Of course, Lions fans will remember Ziggy Ansah, Detroit's No. 5 pick in 2013. He was fairly raw with just 31 college games, but produced well for Detroit and showed flashes of greatnes in his first three seasons before injuries set in. Rousseau has great upside and the Lions must make improvements to their dreadful defense.
1. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Micah Parson opted out and did not play in 2020, but the Lions desperately need defensive help and Parsons is a big-time playmaker. The linebacker was all over the field in 2019, registering 109 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. Even if the Lions re-sign LB Jarrad Davis, the team needs reinforcements at the linebacker position. Detroit allowed the most points (32.4) and yards (420) per game in 2020, and Parsons is perhaps the draft's best defender. Lions fans should hope he's available when Detroit is on the clock.
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