21. Detroit Lions: Michigan DE Taco Charlton
After a disappointing ending to the regular season along with an early exit in the playoffs, there’s a good chance the Detroit Lions will be entering 2017 with an extra chip on their shoulders to prove last year wasn’t an accident. With the surprise retirement of Calvin Johnson, the Lions were originally considered a team expected to struggle, but that obviously wasn’t the case after earning one of the Wild Card spots in the NFC.
Of course, Detroit has nobody to blame but themselves for giving the NFC North title to the Green Bay Packers after losing their final three games of the regular season before eventually falling to the Seattle Seahawks on Wild Card weekend. Offense will easily be an area to focus on (especially at wide receiver) once the draft officially gets underway, but with the 21st pick in the first round, the Lions may want to focus their attention on the defensive side of the football.
Detroit could certainly use some improvement when it comes to the defensive line after the unit recorded just 26 sacks all of 2016, and for a player with 22 sacks of his own over the last two seasons at Michigan, Taco Charlton could turn into a valuable option. If Charlton can find a way to be just as effective breaking through defenders like he did with the Wolverines, that low number of sacks could easily change for the Lions on defense.