Lions Projected to Find Value With Double Dib on Defense in NFL Draft

The Detroit Lions have been a popular landing spot for Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry in NFL drafts this offseason. But Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson proposed the Lions not only draft McKinstry but also target another defensive need during the second round.

The Lions, losers no more, are the NFC North favorite. Can they top the  Vikings, Packers and Bears? - The San Diego Union-Tribune

In his latest mock draft, Monson had the Lions grabbing McKinstry at No. 29 overall in the first round.

“Once seen as the best cornerback in the draft, Kool-Aid McKinstry represents excellent value at this point in the first round,” Monson wrote. “He earned an 88.8 overall PFF grade last season and was targeted only 39 times all year because of what he had already put on tape throughout his college career.”

The consensus NFL draft big boards from ESPN and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah have McKinstry ranked outside the top 32 prospects. But the big board from PFF has McKinstry rated at No. 26 overall.

Then at No. 61 in the second round, Monson predicted the Lions to draft Utah edge rusher Jonah Elliss.

“This offseason has been about upgrading the defensive line for the Lions, continuing with Jonah Elliss,” Monson wrote. “He posted a 90.6 PFF pass-rushing grade against true pass sets last season.”

The PFF big board has Elliss ranked as the No. 55 overall prospect.

Lions Predicted to Target Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

Packers draft prospects to know: Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

Before the draft process began, Bleacher Report’s NFL scouting department argued the Lions should move up 15 spots to grab McKinstry at No. 14 overall. But early in the offseason, his draft stock fell because of injury concerns.

At the NFL combine, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that doctors diagnosed him with a Jones fracture. That injury consists of a broken bone on the inside of the foot on the pinky toe side. Jones fractures typically occur from overtraining or more pressure on the foot because of weight gain.

Jeremiah didn’t mention McKinstry’s injury at all in his analysis of the cornerback’s draft stock on April 3. It’s unclear if his injury recovery resulted in the change, but on Jeremiah’s latest big board, McKinstry rose six spots.

The Alabama cornerback, though, still sat at No. 36 overall among all prospects because of other potential concerns.

“Overall, Kool-Aid has a lot of redeeming qualities,” Jeremiah wrote. “From off coverage, everything he does is smooth, but he lacks twitch and urgency. He does find and play the ball well, both in front of him and down the field. He isn’t ultra aggressive when it comes to getting involved in the run game, but he’s a reliable tackler in space.

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