Detroit Lions – Riley Reiff
Why is he the pick?
Reiff has not been a bad player since being made the 23rd-overall pick in 2012 out of the University of Iowa. At the same point, though, Reiff has not become the dominant pass-protector that many projected him to be. Last year, Reiff ranked 18th among left tackles in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus. Being that the Lions are so reliant on throwing the football, that is a serious problem.
Reiff also needs to hold down the left side with rookie Laken Tomlinson learning the ropes at left guard. The Lions are going to be tested early in the season, with the Denver Broncos coming to town. Denver has Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, two game-changers if not dealt with. Reiff also sees the Green Bay Packers twice per season, who boost Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.
What is at stake?
Matthew Stafford’s health. The Lions have a tough schedule this season and it is chock full of major pass-rushers both aforementioned and otherwise. Detroit is going to have a tough time getting back to the playoffs as is without Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, and that is only made tougher if Reiff can’t hold up his end of the bargain.
Next: Minnesota Vikings