INDIANAPOLIS -- Every Saturday, we answer some of your questions in a weekly Lions mailbag. To ask a question for a future mailbag, email firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot a note on Twitter with the hashtag #LionsMailbag.
Now, on to your questions.
Joshua asks via email: Most of the focus on the Lions' first-round pick has gone to defensive ends and running backs, but could an outside linebacker be in that conversation? A OLB could help with our pass rush as well as pass coverage. I think it also fits into Matt Patricia's idea of players being capable and versatile in many different areas.
Joshua, that’s a great question and something that could happen, especially if he’s a versatile pass-rusher. Consider a player like Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds. He’s an athletic marvel and has the ability to potentially play defensive end and outside linebacker. He could also get after quarterbacks pretty easy and he’s young -- he doesn’t turn 20 until May. That’s another intriguing thing, too, because younger is often better. But if the right fit is there, then the Lions would potentially go in that direction, particularly if they are going to be a multiple type of defense (which seems like what is going to happen). And Edmunds would be a player worth doing that for.
Justin asks via email: Do you see the Lions trading up in the draft to get Penn State RB Saquon Barkley or try to get a RB in free agency?
Justin, free agency is a possibility. So is the draft, although I highly doubt the Lions would make the move up for Barkley. There’s no doubt Barkley is a transcendent talent and if he somehow (unlikely) slips in the draft to somewhere in Detroit’s range, the Lions should try to move up. But right now? It would not be the best move for the Lions to move up at least 16 spots to snag him. It’s a deep running back group, which leads to our next question.
Brian, it depends on who is around. There are going to be some players that move a lot between now and the draft, but if a player like LSU's Derrius Guice or USC's Ronald Jones is there, it's a possibility. Quinn likes this running back draft class, though, and there are some great values to be potentially had on Day 2, between the two Georgia running backs (Sony Michel and Nick Chubb), Rashaad Penny and maybe guys like Kalen Ballage, Josh Adams and Kerryon Johnson. There's a lot of talent there.
#LionsMailbag Is it possible they draft a RB in the first round? Or is second or third more realistic?— Brian Ballard (@gokupantera101) March 1, 2018
Cory, I haven't gotten a feel on that yet, even after leaving the combine. It's something that should shake itself out in the coming days as teams make moves on their own free agents before the start of the new league year. At this point, I would have a tough time seeing the Lions bringing both of them back, and general manager Bob Quinn already said some of the secondary moves that could be internal. That could mean bigger roles for last year's rookies, Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew. They were both taken with potential defensive roles in mind as they developed -- and this would be the year for that to happen. That said, it would not be surprising if the Lions either signed a veteran free agent or brought back one of Nevin Lawson or D.J. Hayden at a reasonable to compete with Tabor (and potentially others) for a starting job.
#lionsmailbag what do you foresee happening with Nevin Lawson and DJ Hayden? What kind of per year $ will they get? Lots of roster spots to fill with ~$25mil cap space— Cory Schmidt (@cschmidt3238) March 1, 2018
This is all going to depend on how far Price's incomplete pectoral muscle tear ends up hindering his draft stock. If it doesn't, there's a chance he's not even at No. 20 for the Lions in the first round. If it does, and the Lions end up passing on the offensive line in the first round, then it could be a second-round possibility. The talent level is certainly there and he's a guy who if he becomes your left guard already has familiarity with left tackle Taylor Decker from Ohio State. So that could have added value because of the importance of offensive line chemistry. So it's a move I could see the Lions making, but there's a lot of ifs and a lot of time between now and then. If that happened, though, he'd be an absolute steal for Detroit.
Could you see the Lions trading up on day 2 to snag Billy Price? Granted, Dahl may have to start until he's cleared, but is he considered a bargain in Round 2? #LionsMailbag— Gary (@RedneckLionsFan) March 2, 2018
Daniel, way, way, too early to tell on this but maybe a player like a Maurice Hurst from Michigan. It's possible he could get a look at No. 20 for Detroit, but if somehow he ended up around in the second round and the Lions didn't take a defensive tackle in the first round, he'd be an obvious candidate. It would be a similar situation to Price where in Round 1 he'd be a pick that could make a bunch of sense and in Round 2 would be close to a no-brainer from a talent-to-value perspective (obviously depending on what happens in free agency and the first round of the draft).
What is the most likely pre-combine first rounder that falls to the second and the lions consider taking there? A la Teez Tabor, A'Shawn #LionsMailbag— Daniel Hall (@Danieljhall6) March 2, 2018