Would Lions Pass On Taylor Decker In 2016 Re-Draft? And Who Might They Pick Instead?
By: Will Burchfield
The Lions look to have landed a foundational player in the first round of last year's draft in Taylor Decker, but would they stick with the promising left tackle in hindsight?
Sports Illustrated doesn't think so.
SI.com re-picked the first round of the 2016 draft, "(giving) each team the chance to confirm or change their picks with 2017 and beyond in mind," and the Lions, with Decker still on the board, went in a different direction.
Karl Joseph, the safety out of West Virgina who was selected 14th overall by the Raiders. Joseph appeared in 12 games in his rookie season, starting nine, and tallied 44 tackles, six passes defended and one interception.
"Joseph would serve the dual roles of flying around the secondary to assist the Detroit DBs around emergent star Darius Slay and bringing the wood in run defense to back up an undermanned linebacking corps. He hits with a complete disregard for his own well-being, and the Lions could use that kind of flair at the second level."
While all of that's true, the Lions may already have that player in the system in Miles Killebrew, their fourth-round pick in 2016. The safety out of Southern Utah plays with the same physicality and aggression as Joseph, and excelled toward the end of his rookie season. If it's "flair" that the Lions need "at the second level," Killebrew looks prepared to provide it.
As for Decker, SI.com projected he'd fall to the Vikings at 23rd overall. That's surprising - impossible, even - given how well Decker performed in his rookie season and how highly left tackles are valued in the NFL. The former Buckeye played every snap at a critical position and was named to the PFWA's All-Rookie Team.
And he'd slip seven spots to No. 23 overall? Unlikely.
If anything, the Lions were lucky to get Decker where they did.
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