Three possibilities for the Lions to draft in the second round of the NFL draft tonight:
1. Outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy (BYU) would fill the pass-rushing linebacker role that coach Jim Caldwell desires. Van Noy, who is 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, was named All-Independent Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 thanks to 13 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. He’s “an unusually disciplined player who combines natural read-and-react skills and fluid athleticism to make plays” according to Frank Cooney of NFLDraftScout.com.
2. Cornerback Phillip Gaines (Rice) set a school record by breaking up 38 passes, 27 of them in last two years. In 2013 he was targeted 40 times, allowed 13 catches and stole four passes. He’s got speed (4.31 in 40 at Combine) and size at 6-foot and 193 pounds. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said: “For a guy that’s going to be a mid- to late-(round) developmental corner, I’m not sure you’re going to get any better value than Phillip Gaines.”
3. Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu (Georgia Tech) is the school’s all-time sacks leader. In 2013 he had 12.5 sacks along with 16 tackles for loss. Attaochu is 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt wrote: “He played outside linebacker before this year, and it's not clear what his best position will be in the pros. He ran a 4.57-second 40 at his pro day.’’
The second and third rounds begin at 7 p.m. Friday with the fourth through seventh rounds beginning at noon on Saturday.