There is no QIB data available at this time, but look for a follow-up article post NFL Combine where I will be identifying players that would fit in Detroit. This is a preliminary list of players whom I believe with be in the discussion based on their college film.
This is the deepest position in the draft and I fully expect the Lions to take advantage of it. Like last year with the defensive tackles, talented players will be pushed down draft boards and will be available on day two for value. I believe a highly talented defensive back will be on the board at 53, and the Lions will take him like they did when A’Shawn Robinson was there last year.
Cornerback Draft Prospects
If the Lions decide they want to go after a corner in round one, players like Jalen Tabor (Florida), Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State), and Marlon Humphrey (Alabama) make sense, as they have the size and (likely) speed combo the Lions will covet. If they want to stay in their zone concept and are willing to sacrifice some height, Sidney Jones (Washington) is one of my favorites in this class.
As I mentioned above, the sweet spot for value in this class will be on day 2. If a player like Gareon Conley (Ohio State) or Quincy Wilson (Florida) are there at 53 the Lions would be ecstatic. If they want to upgrade their nickelback spot a player like Jordan Lewis (Michigan) should be available in that range. Rasul Douglas (West Virginia), Fabian Moreau (UCLA), and Kevin King (Washington) are other names to keep an eye on for on day two.
Safety Draft Prospects
If the Lions don’t sign a high-profile safety in free agency, then they will almost assuredly draft one. I believe that will Quin’s flexibility and Killebrew’s increasing role, that player will most likely be a free safety.
The top safeties in the class Jamal Adams (LSU), Malik Hooker (Ohio State) will be gone in the top-10, and a player like Jabrill Peppers offers similar skills to Killebrew and would be a redundant player in Teryl Austin’s system.
Obi Melifonwu (UConn) is almost the same size as Killebrew but has better coverage skills. His stock is on the rise and while I’m not sure exactly how he would fit in Detroit, the idea of having him and Killebrew on the field at the same time is very appealing.
If the Lions are willing to use a high day two pick on a safety, Budda Baker (Washigton) has a nose for the football in similar ways as Tyrann Mathieu but his size (5’9″, 192) will be an issue for several teams. Strong safety Justin Evans (TAMU) would be an ideal player to challenge Wilson for a starting spot and a player I highlighted during the season as a potential target.
Free Safeties Marcus Maye (Florida, broken arm) and Eddie Jackson (Alabama, broken leg) both suffered season ending injuries and it has unfairly dropped their draft stock. Both players have day two value, but if they happen to fall into round four, the Lions will jump at the opportunity to grab one of them.
Other day three guys that the Lions will have their eyes on because of their coverage skills will be Tedric Thompson (Colorado), Lorenzo Jerome (St. Francis, PA), and John Johnson (Boston College). All three have the potential to develop into a starter role by the 2018 season, similarly to what the Lions did with Killebrew this past season.