The Detroit Lions are gearing up for the 2021 NFL Draft, and the fans are full of excitement and anticipation as the draft process pushes to a close for yet another year.
This week, The Lions Lounge went interactive, asking fans to toss in some of their top questions ahead of the draft in a mailbag segment. As usual, from Detroit’s draft plans to local stars to future win projections, the questions didn’t disappoint ahead of an important moment for the team.
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Remember, get your questions in, and every week, we’ll hit the ones we didn’t get to talk about on the live telecast. As a reminder, like Heavy on Lions on Facebook to catch The Lions Lounge on Thursday nights, where Lions football is always on tap at least once a week.
Here’s a look at what’s on the minds of the fans this week heading toward the draft.
Do You Think Justin Fields’ Epilepsy Hurts His Draft Status? I Feel Sorry for the Guy. -Brent A
It is a very tough break for a good kid in Fields. The good news for him? I’m not so sure it hurts the draft status, Brent. As soon as Fields revealed his diagnosis, former Pittsburgh Steelers’ lineman and new Hall of Famer Alan Faneca revealed he had been dealing with the same condition during his career. Most folks would have never even known it plagued Faneca. The word is Fields and his team are confident he could outgrow the condition in time. If he does slip, it could be a boon to the Lions, who might choose to roll the dice with Fields as their quarterback of the future, or could auction off their seventh overall pick for him in the event a needy team wants him badly.
Medical issues arising this late in the process are always concerning and worth thinking about, but in the end, Fields hasn’t been adversely impacted by this on the field so far. That will mean teams should have no qualms about selecting him when they get set for their final decision. If it’s the Lions, this shouldn’t disqualify Fields from the conversation at all.
Who Do You Think May Be Detroit’s Best Draft Pick or Option? -Jason H
The Lions would be best served to think about this draft in terms of playmakers in my opinion, Jason. If they can add one of the top flight wideouts early on, then look to upgrade their defense most of the rest of the way with guys who can flock to the ball, grab interceptions and cause havoc, they will be better for it. Detroit might also look at an offensive lineman as a way to fill this void, given they can pave the way for running backs to make things happen and big plays down field in the passing game. If I’m the Lions, I try to trade back to the 10-15 range but no further barring a name like Ja’Marr Chase or Penei Sewell being on the board. Picking up extra picks while targeting playmaker early would be a huge way for the team to improve their fortunes for 2021 and beyond.
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What Do You Think of Michigan’s Kwity Paye? -Timothy C
It’s an up and down class of edge rushers and defensive lineman, Tim, but Paye is for sure one of the best options and a guy who is a likely middle selection in the first round of the draft. Detroit probably is picking too high to justify Paye, but if they were to trade back into the late teens or early 20’s, he could be an interesting pick for a team that needs help rushing the passer. Last season at Michigan, it was hard to judge Paye seeing as the circumstances in the Big Ten prevented it, but the tape does show a very athletic player who can move around up front and create havoc. Someone in the middle or late stages of the draft will get a very intriguing player on Thursday night.
Do You Think the Interest in Kadarius Toney Is Legit With Detroit’s Second Pick? -Frank C
If Toney somehow survives to Detroit’s pick at 41, I have no doubt he will be of major interest to the Lions, especially if the team elects to go offensive line or defense with pick seven. Toney has met with the team pre-draft, which is always a good indication of interest. There might have to be some serious hoping going on in Detroit’s war room for this to be the case, though. According to Peter Schrager of the NFL Network, Toney has been flying up boards and could make a case to go in the first-round as one of the first group of wideouts taken. If that’s the case, he’s a dark-horse name to watch for the Lions in a potential middle-round trade back or even if the Lions like him enough with the seventh pick. Toney is one of my top players to watch for the Lions Thursday, and potentially Friday depending on what happens.
How Many Games Will the Lions Win This Year? I’m Thinking Four…Tops. -Pete L
Guessing anywhere from four to six wins for the Lions on any given year has not been a failed proposition for the most part through time as you know, Pete. We’ll have to see what the draft looks like and what kind of final roster the team puts on the field in addition to when and where the games are before I reveal my prediction. I’m an optimist by nature so I think the Lions might be able to do just a bit better than four wins, but there are a lot of holes and this is a rebuild in progress. If it is indeed four wins or even less, fans will simply have to be patient with Brad Holmes and his plan. There would be at least reasons to be hopeful with this hypothetical four or five win edition of the Lions in 2021.
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