Wojo: Lions need to go big, burly and surl

Allen Park — No need to reach, no need to dazzle. The Lions can’t screw this up, at least not in the first round. Oh, nothing is foolproof when it comes to the NFL Draft. But if we’re judging GM Bob Quinn on his two-year history, not on the Lions’ 60-year history, he appears to be a competent drafter, and mostly a safe drafter. And sitting at No. 20, that’s pretty much what the Lions need.

On offense, the Lions can’t run over anybody, and on defense, they’re liable to get run over by anybody. Until they get stronger on both lines – or either – they’re not legitimate contenders, just a 9-7 fringe team riding a good quarterback, Matthew Stafford.

That means Quinn likely has two choices in the first round.

The Lions were 20th in the NFL in sacks last season, and are counting on the injury-prone Ansah, as well as Kerry Hyder, their 2016 sack leader who’s returning from an Achilles injury. They still need another pass rusher and a run stuffer to replace Haloti Ngata, alongside A’Shawn Robinson.

Taken with the 23rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Ray was supposed to form an unstoppable pass-rushing trio with Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. But Ray never caught on. In a 14-game rookie season, Ray recorded only four sacks. In 2016, he doubled his sack output, but injury issues saw his production slip to one sack in eight games last season. To make matters worse for Ray, the 2018 NFL Draft’s top pass-rushing prospect, Bradley Chubb, surprisingly fell to the Broncos last week.

Suddenly, the Broncos’ pass-rushing crew looks mighty crowded with the likes of Miller, Chubb, Shaquil Barrett, Derek Wolfe, and Ray spearheading their defensive front. Barrett’s the one to keep an eye on considering he plays the same position as Ray. Over the past three seasons, Barrett’s accumulated 11 sacks only two fewer than Ray’s total. Like Ray, Barrett’s deal expires after the season, so the Broncos will have a couple important decisions to make next offseason.

The bottom line is that Ray just hasn’t produced Cheap Hockey Jerseys Canada like a first-round pick, while the Broncos’ roster already contains a whole host of capable pass rushers not named Shane Ray. That’s why the Broncos didn’t feel like paying him $9.2 million for the 2019 season, which would’ve Cheap Houston Rockets Jerseys been guaranteed for injury.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *