Justin Rogers’ Detroit Lions ‘Big Board’

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Go through the gallery to see how Justin Rogers of The Detroit News would construct the Detroit Lions’ NFL draft board.

Allen Park — It starts with scouting reports, cultivated over multiple on-campus visits, and is supplemented with film review, combine and pro day numbers and sit-down interviews.

The final product is a draft board, the primary device that dictates the course of a team’s draft.

The Detroit Lions have plugged some roster holes this offseason — namely along the offensive line, where the additions of Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang have fortified the unit — but the team still has a number of needs on both sides of the ball.

The most glaring deficiencies are on defense, where general manager Bob Quinn has made minimal offseason improvements to the team’s ability to generate pass-rush pressure and force turnovers.

On offense, the Lions are still in the market for skill-position upgrades at wide receiver and running back. There’s also room for another tight end.

It’s no easy task constructing a draft board. You must factor in all the variables, from production to athleticism to injury history to character risks. But after months of studying this class of prospects, as well as the Lions’ needs (which remains a factor in the equation), we offer our projection for what the team’s board might look like when its decision-makers enter the war room April 27-29 to make their selections.

Based on a small sample size of last year’s draft, and other player acquisitions via free agency and the waiver wire, we know Quinn puts a premium on athleticism, especially with his linebackers and defensive backs. That’s reflected in the board.

You’ll also notice very few quarterbacks and offensive tackles. That’s indicative not only of team need, but lack of quality depth in his class.

The Lions will have graded out every draft-eligible prospect, preparing for the signing frenzy of undrafted players in the hours after the seventh round ends. Our board is only 50 players deep, but should give you a good sense of what to expect later this month.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

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