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Detroit Lions: 2017 NFL Combine Players To Watch

Lions' scouting department must find play makers CREED_400 VIA FLICKR


The Lions’ Scouting Department Must Focus On Finding Play Makers At NFL Combine

The Detroit Lions fell short in the 2016 season in their playoff loss to Seattle. They had a solid season overall, wining several one possession games. Even with their success, they lacked some key elements on both sides of the football. The Lions’ scouting department will begin to fill those holes as the NFL Combine begins here shortly. The Lions have a steady offense setup, but they need to improve the running game, add another play making receiver, and find an offensive lineman to help Stafford out, as he was sacked 37 times in 2016.

On defense, the Lions actually have a fairly talented secondary, so their main focus will be on the front seven. They need to address the linebacker position and find another consistent pass rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah. If the Lions’ scouting department can seek out some talent in the combine, that will give them a good head start to the 2017 season. They are a very talented team overall and are just missing those last few pieces to propel them to the next level.

Here are a few players the Lions’ scouting department should be watching at the combine.

Christian McCaffrey – RB, Standord

As I mentioned above, the Lions desperately need to improve their running game. They need to find a versatile and explosive back that can be the spark for this offense. Christian McCaffrey immediately comes to find when I think of those aspects. He’s a very well rounded player with incredible potential. He’s a solid sized back at 6’0″ and 202 pounds. In his last two seasons at Stanford, McCaffrey had over 3,600 rushing yards, 950 receiving yards, and 29 combined touchdowns. He’s an absolute stud and does it all from a running back standpoint. Stafford would love to have the luxury of handing the ball to McCaffrey and he would vastly improve this Lions offense.

Takkarist McKinley – OLB, UCLA

Detroit needs another aggressive player to help anchor the front seven. They need a young leader to help improve their defense in the middle of the field. McKinley is an athletic and powerful player that would completely change this defense. At 6’2″ and 258 pounds, he possesses great size and length. His endless motor enables him to be a constant problem for opposing offenses. He uses his speed to blow by defenders and make plays in the backfield. He would be a great player to plug in and the Lions’ scouting department should be keeping a close eye on him.

Taco Charlton – DE, Michigan

Charlton is a monstrous force as a pass rusher and rush defender. He’s 6’5″ and 272 pounds of relentless talent. This kid has one of the best motors of all the prospects in this year’s class. I’m sure the Lions’ scouting department is already planning on evaluating him closely at the NFL combine. Charlton would be a great addition to the Lions. They lacked a consistent pass rush all season and especially with Ziggy Ansah struggling to stay on the field due to injuries. He had 10 sacks and 13 tackles for loss in 2016. Those numbers alone speak to how he would impact the Lions and their defense. With his size and speed, he can get around the blockers and make his presence known all game long.

Isaiah Ford – WR, Virginia Tech

I’d be willing to bet that Mathew Stafford would love to have a new target in the passing game. Ford is a speedy and explosive player that makes excellent catches is traffic. Stafford is known for making passes in tight windows and Ford has very strong hands. He is very quick with his cuts and has great awareness as he can locate the football with ease. In his last three seasons, Ford earned nearly 3,000 receiving yards and scored 24 touchdowns. He had a very consistent and effective collegiate career and he would be a nice addition to this Lions offense.

Nico Siragusa – OG, San Diego State

Siragusa is a very sound overall player at his position. His pass protecting and rush blocking skills set him apart in this class. He’s a guy the Lions might be able to get in the third or fourth round, depending on how well he does at the Combine and his pro day. The Lions need to improve the protection for Stafford and they need some help establishing the run. It all starts up front for an NFL offense and if they can snag a guy like Siragusa, that would benefit them greatly. He’s athletic and quick for being 6’4″ and 325 pounds. He can hold his ground and pave the way up front for the Lions‘ offense.