ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions needed to find a long-term solution at defensive tackle after two seasons of essentially going year-to-year at the position. In A’Shawn Robinson, the Lions did so.
My take: Very, very smart pick by rookie general manager Bob Quinn, who is having a strong top of the draft. Detroit needed to find a player who could finally replace the Nick Fairley-Ndamukong Suh tandem that left after the 2014 season. In Robinson, the Lions can finally start rebuilding the interior of the defensive line. Robinson will help against the run immediately while learning either next to or behind Haloti Ngata before eventually replacing him. He’ll take up a ton of space in the middle of the line and could pull some double-teams from Ezekiel Ansah as well. It is another solid, but not flashy, selection by Quinn. Good move.
Lines are getting better: A must for Detroit during this draft was solidifying the offensive and defensive lines. Quinn took care of that early, first with offensive tackle Taylor Decker on Thursday night and now with Robinson with his first pick on Friday night. Don’t be surprised if Quinn adds another lineman or two with the eight picks the Lions have remaining in this year’s draft as defensive end and center remain needs. But Quinn appears to be focusing from the lines out, and that’s what is happening so far during this draft.
Defensive depth was there: The board played well for the Lions in the second round. While the linebacker depth dropped a bit with Jaylon Smith, Myles Jack and Reggie Ragland all off the board before pick No. 46, there was depth at defensive tackle, cornerback and safety for the Lions at the spot -- giving Quinn a bunch of options at a bunch of positions of need. It likely led him to have a pretty difficult decision on his hands as Detroit won’t pick for 49 selections after No. 46 barring a trade. Considering the Lions’ struggles with second-round picks over the past decade, this pick might be more scrutinized than most, especially since Detroit picked Robinson over Jarran Reed and Andrew Billings.
What’s next: For now, the Lions will be waiting a while. Detroit is not scheduled to pick again until No. 95, a compensatory selection at the end of the third round. The Lions got the pick after Suh left in free agency last offseason. Detroit has enough final-day picks that the franchise could try to move back into the third round, but no guarantees that will happen. Positions to pay attention to in the third round? Safety, wide receiver, cornerback, center, possibly in that order.