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O'HARA'S DRAFT PREVIEW: Quinn following a tough act

Bob Quinn is following a tough act – his own -- in his second draft as general manager of the Detroit Lions.

What looked good on paper in last year's draft looked just as good on the field.

Nine of the 10 picks made the 53-player active roster. Seven played 12 or more games, and five started at least two games.

Quinn focused on the trenches last year, drafting three linemen on offense and two on defense. Defense is a primary need this year, especially in the front seven, but it's not the only one.

"I think we need more playmakers, bottom line – whether that's on the offensive side of the ball or the defensive side," Quinn said at the Combine.

The job is never done, as Quinn has said often. Here is the Lions' Draft breakdown in a 2017 rookie class deep in some areas of need and thin in others.

Primary needs: Front seven on defense, running back, wide receiver, secondary.

Draft's strength: Defensive line, running back, receiver, safety, cornerback.

Lions picks: 21st overall in the first round, one pick in all seven rounds and 8 total with 2 in the sixth round.

2016 draft review: The top of the 2016 class was particularly productive.

First-round pick Taylor Decker started all 16 games at offensive left tackle and played every snap. Second-round pick A'Shawn Robinson developed as a force at defensive tackle and also played all 16 games, with five starts. Third-round pick Graham Glasgow played 15 games, making 11 starts combined at guard and center.

Down the line, other draft picks starting two or more games were linebacker Antwione Williams, with three starts in 15 games, and running back Dwayne Washington, with two starts in 12 games.

In addition, safety Miles Killebrew (fourth round, 16 games), guard Joe Dahl (fifth round, six games), defensive lineman Anthony Zettel (sixth round, 13 games) and QB Jake Rudock (sixth round, promoted from practice squad last five games) all demonstrated future value without starting a game.

Free agent impact: Player additions put the Lions in position to target needs in the draft. Two key signings – guard T.J. Lang and tackle Rick Wagner – should upgrade the offensive line. Other signings, for players such as linebacker Paul Worrilow and cornerback D.J. Hayden, added to the top of position rotation and depth.

"Really, everything you do in free agency, you kind of recalibrate in the draft," said head coach Jim Caldwell. "Some areas where you're not able to get someone, obviously you look to the draft or make decisions prior to it – maybe get a little younger in this spot."

Here is the position preview, in order of the Lions' priorities:

View photos of the defensive linemen on-field workouts at the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

1. Defensive line: It's a deep group, inside and on the edge, especially including outside linebackers as pass rushers. DE Myles Garrett of Texas A&M will be drafted first overall. DE Solomon Thomas of Stanford and DT Jonathan Allen of Alabama won't be far behind.

Pass-rushing ends like Taco Charlton of Michigan or Charles Harris of Missouri could be on the board for the Lions, but there's enough talent to get help in the second round and lower.

Stat to note: The Lions' 26 sacks were the league's second fewest last year. Ziggy Ansah dropped from 14.5 in 2015 to two because of an ankle injury that bothered him most of the season.

2. Running back: Like defensive line, there's depth at a position where the Lions have a need. Leonard Fournette of LSU, Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford are strong first-round candidates.

The nature of running back is that teams can get a 1,000-yard runner in every round or in free agency – but also get a bust. This position will be addressed in some round.

Stat to note: The Lions ranked 30th, with 81.9 yards per game in 2016 – and it was not a single-season aberration.

3. Linebacker: The release of DeAndre Levy, a limited performer and injured the last two years, leaves Tahir Whitehead as the only linebacker on the roster with substantial starting experience as a Lion. Reuben Foster of Alabama and Haason Reddick of Temple are at the top of this class.

Zach Cunningham of Vanderbilt and Takkarist McKinley of UCLA could be in the Lions' range in the first round. Tim Williams of Alabama would be an outside possibility.

Stat to note: As a group, the Lions' linebackers did not have a sack, interception or forced fumble last year. Cunningham's athleticism makes him an attractive, and realistic, first-round candidate.

4. Wide receiver: With three legit prospects in the first round, there's a choice between size – 6-3 Corey Davis of Western Michigan and 6-4 Mike Williams of Clemson – and speed, with John Ross of Washington's Combine record of 4.22 seconds in the 40 beckoning teams that want a flyer to stretch a secondary.

Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. are the only proven veteran receivers on the Lions' roster, although there's a possibility Anquan Boldin will return. If the right receiver's available – John Ross is my choice – he could be a Lion.

Stat to note: Golden Tate and Herman Moore are the only receivers in franchise history to catch 90 or more passes three straight seasons. Moore actually had 100-plus from 1995-97.

5. Secondary: There's a medium need in a year when a half dozen defensive backs could go off the board in the top 20 picks. Jamal Adams of LSU and Malik Hooker of Ohio State are the top safeties, with Jabrill Peppers of Michigan, Budda Baker of Washington and Combine star Obi Melifonwu of Connecticut in the discussion for the next tier.

Among the cornerbacks with first-round talent are Marshon Lattimore of Ohio State, Marlon Humphrey of Alabama, Tre'Davious White of LSU, Gareon Conley of Ohio State and Quincy Wilson of Florida.

Stats to note: Lack of pass rush contributed, but the Lions gave up the highest completion rate (72.7 percent) and passer rating (106.5) last year and the second most TD passes (33).

Mock to note: Peppers was my pick for the Lions in my Mock 21 3.0.

6. Tight end: O.J. Howard of Alabama and David Njoku of Miami (Fla.) rank 1-2. Howard is the most complete tight end in the draft. Two intriguing prospects, for different reasons, are Adam Shaheen of Division II Ashland and Jake Butt of Michigan, who's coming back from a knee injured sustained in the bowl game.

Signing Darren Fells gives the Lions a blocker to go with Eric Ebron as a primary pass catcher, but Fells also might fit in more than expected as a receiver.

Stat to note: The tight ends currently on the roster combined last season for 63 receptions – 61 by Ebron, two by Cole Wick.

7. Offensive line: Not a primary need, and not a vintage group of prospects, especially compared to last year when four tackles were drafted in the top 16. The Lions got a stud in left tackle Taylor Decker at No. 16. However, it's never bad to draft a prospect for depth and development.

Stat to note: Turnover has left the Lions with guard Laken Tomlinson and center Travis Swanson as the only offensive linemen who have started for the Lions on opening day the last two years. Decker started last year. Guard T.J. Lang and tackle Rick Wagner were with Green Bay and Baltimore respectively.

8. Quarterback: The Lions can sit back and watch the scramble – and perhaps make a trade with a team desperate to move into position to take a QB as the Lions' lack of need matches absence of prospects regarded as franchise quarterbacks.

Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina – with one year of starting experience -- DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame and Patrick Mahomes II of Texas Tech all could be first-round picks in some order. Brad Kaaya of Miami (Fla.) could be somebody's sleeper pick.

Stat to note: For the first time in his career, Matthew Stafford is the only QB on the Lions' offseason roster who has played in an NFL regular-season game. Rudock was active for five games last season but did not play in a game.

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