Detroit Lions: 2018 first round draft plans A, B and C are all defense?

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The options appear wide open for the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft but is the team locked in on selecting a player on defense?

What exactly the Detroit Lions will do when they get on the clock for their first pick of the 2018 NFL Draft is anyone’s guess. While the team has some clear needs it isn’t necessarily clear those needs have to be addressed in the first round and it is impossible to predict exactly what mix of players the Lions will have to choose from.

That is certainly not to say the Lions have just been sitting back waiting for the first 19 picks to play out before taking a look at the board. Bob Quinn explained in his pre-draft press conference that they can figure of group of players who definitely won’t be available by their pick, some players who might be, then a group of players they think definitely will be available for them to choose from.

This makes is easier to have an idea of a direction going into a draft then adapt as surprises inevitably happen. It would only make sense that the Lions have a priority list they can develop ahead of time to make their first choice much easier as their time on the clock starts to tick.

But what might that list look like?

In his final mock draft for Real GM, Jeff Risdon made Alamaba defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne his pick for the Lions at 20th overall. But it’s in his explanation for the pick that things get interesting:

"My somewhat educated belief is that Harold Landry is Plan A, Marcus Davenport is Plan B, Payne or Bama teammate Rashaan Evans are Plan C. I think Payne has pass-rushing upside that will intrigue the Lions, and pass rush is far and away their biggest self-identified need. I will be quite surprised if the pick is not one of the four players I mentioned here. Offensive guard is more likely than RB should they deviate from the pass rush."

This will make any fan hoping for an emphasis on the defense very happy.

Landry and Davenport fit in the “might be available” category while Payne and Evans are more likely “will be availables” but there are always a few curveballs in the first round. Who would have guessed that John Ross would be a top ten pick prior to last year’s draft?

Next: Lions seven-round mock draft 4.0

Smokescreens can be heavy this close to the draft so it’s hard to know what to believe and what to gloss over. Fortunately we’re closing in on just hours before we start finding out what will actually happen in the 2018 NFL Draft.