(FOX 17) — The NFL Draft is scheduled for this week with the first round beginning on Thursday.
Due to the coronavirus this draft will be taking place virtually and that may create some mystery not only for fans and media, but the teams themselves.
"They (teams) get a lot of information from pro days," Jeff Risdon managing editor for Lionswire.com said. "Most of those pro days got canceled so we are looking at incomplete information. Normally NFL teams love to do mock drafts and project what other teams are going to do. This year they're more in the dark on what is going to happen in front of them and around them than ever before and it is going to lead to some interesting decisions."
For the Lions all signs point to Jeff Okudah, a cornerback out of Ohio State, despite the fact that Detroit struggled to rush the passer last season.
"Okudah plays into the coverage sack scheme and that seems to be what Matt Patricia wants from his defense," Risdon said. "He likes the idea of having good coverage producing sacks for the guys up front rather than pressure up front producing interception and better coverage for the guys down the field."
Most think that defensive end Chase Young will go at number two to Washington, but Okudah grades out very well.
"He succeeded Denzel Ward at Ohio State," Risdon said. "Ward went number four overall in 2018 and made the pro bowl as a rookie. Okudah is better than him at everything. It is pretty hard to look past a player that can make that kind of impact for you."
The importance of the draft goes well beyond Thursday's first round. The Lions not only have needs at defensive end and cornerback but also at wide receiver, guard and running back.
"Really the Lions are ideally suited for this draft in that their needs are where this draft is the deepest," Risdon said. "The places that they don't need players, tight end, quarterback, it's not that deep so in that sense Bob Quinn has positioned the team very well to address their needs with the players that are at the deepest talent pools and that is a good thing."
We should also expect not just the Lions but several teams to select players that might need less development because the summer and training camp figure to be abbreviated at the very least.