Who should the Detroit Lions target in the upcoming NFL Draft?


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The Detroit Lions dropped to 6-10 last season after consecutive 9-7 seasons in 2016 and 2017. They hold the 8th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Lions we in the middle of the pack in defense last season, allowing 22.5 per game, but were just 25th in scoring, at 20.3 points per game. With several areas needed to be addressed, here are the top prospects the Lions should consider.

T.J. Hockenson - TE (Iowa)

Hockenson joined Noah Fant in a two tight end set at Iowa and as a redshirt freshman averaged 13.3 yards on 24 receptions, scoring three touchdowns. Despite the presence of Fant in the offense, Hockenson was recognized for his talents last season. He was named first team All-Big Ten and won the John Mackey Award given to the country's top tight end. In 13 game last season, Hockenson found the end zone six times on 49 receptions for 760 yards.

Hockenson is a talent on the rise and already is a good run blocker and has good athleticism. He has the ability to beat linebackers in coverage and has the ability to outbattle defensive backs for balls in traffic. Hockenson should be a starting NFL tight end, regardless of the offensive package.

Nasir Adderley - S (Delaware)

Adderley started all 11 games for Delaware as a freshman and immediately made his presence felt, breaking up eight passes and recording 51 tackles. In 2016, he was third-team all CAA after intercepting two passes and making 49 tackles. Upping his game even further as a junior, Adderley had five interceptions and 78 tackles, good enough for All-CAA honors. As a senior, Adderley had 87 tackles and a kickoff return for a touchdown, earning AP FCS All-American.

Adderley has good athletic ability, skills attacking the ball and decent size. His problems have been with consistency. Although a safety at the college level, Adderley may be better suited to play corner to take advantage of his cover skills.

Joe Jackson - DE (Miami)

Jackson was a top multi-sport athlete in high school and contributed immediately at Miami, registering 32 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a reserve in his freshman season. In 2017, Jackson had 11.5 tackles for a loss, including 6.5 sacks while starting 12 of the 13 games he played. Improving his game even further as a junior, Jackson was All-ACC honorable mention and lead Miami with nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss.

Jackson has NFL caliber size and strength and has a high motor with a very intense style of play. He needs to work on his speed off the edge to succeed as a pass rusher at the NFL level. Jackson has the versatility to play in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 sets.

{{playerID-1416|Connor McGovern}} - G (Penn State)

McGovern was a high school All-American as a senior and was one of the top prospects in the country. Very versatile along the line, McGovern played right guard as a freshman and center as a sophomore. As a junior, McGovern was a third team All-Big Ten pick and started all 13 games.

McGovern's versatility should gain increased interest in NFL teams. He has good size and strength by NFL standards and proved in college to be a capable run blocker. However, he displays some weaknesses in his pass blocking techniques. McGovern is likely a starting sometime during his first or second year and should be a second or third round pick.

Brian Burns - DL (Florida State)

Burns was an All-American as a freshman after recording 9.5 sacks in a back up role as defense end and pass rushing linebacker. Starting all 13 games in 2017, Burns had 48 tackles, 13.5 for loss of yardage. Burns was a first-team All-ACC in 2018 after have a huge season in which he had 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles from behind the line of scrimmage. In addition, Burns forced three fumbles and had three passes defensed.

Burns has great speed and length to run past tackles on the edge. However, he is small and his relative lack of strength by NFL standards could pose issues. Burns is quite versatile and could move to linebacker who can cover tight ends and running backs. He's a very intriguing athlete who is likely to make an NFL impact at some point.

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