Lions could find impact pass rusher after first round

The Relative Athletic Score (RAS) system was developed by Kent Lee Platte in 2012 to provide fans with a contextualized score on a 0-10 scale, making it easier to understand how athletic draft prospects are when compared to their position dating back to 1987.

It’s no secret the Detroit Lions need to add some juice to their pass rush in the 2018 draft. It was a hot topic coming into the 2017 draft, but it was one left largely unaddressed, with only a couple of late-round, athletic, developmental picks, not prospects expected to step in immediately. The 2018 class is not considered an edge heavy class, but if the Lions are to address their pass rush, there are a few clear targets to watch.

This draft class has three possible first-round talents on the edge who could have a similar impact. Bradley Chubb (9.47) is likely out of reach for the Lions, while Harold Landry (9.43) and Marcus Davenport (9.59) could make it to the team’s No. 20 pick, and both have ties to the Lions’ coaching staff.

And, it appears, they are trying to push and challenge quarterback Russell Wilson to a new level of achievement at the precise juncture when both Wilson and the Seahawks are girding for what will almost inevitably be difficult, potentially contentious, contract negotiations.

That last one might prove to be the most difficult balance of all — and inextricably linked to the other two. The extent to which the roster shuffle succeeds, and the rapport which Wilson develops with the new staff, could be influential in forging a productive tenor to the talks.

Let me intercede here to say that few expect this all to end with anything but a long-term extension for Wilson, whose contract has two more years left. Yet just one season remains before the traditional time to work all this out, which would be after the 2018, but before the 2019, season.

In other words, the wild ride is about to begin, and so it’s not surprising that even small signs are going to be pored over for possible significance — by the Seahawks, by Wilson and his handlers, and by the media and fans watching it all from afar.

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