As of now, most draft experts think the Detroit Lions will surely take Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. But evidence is starting to mount that the Lions may end up going with another Big 12 defensive tackle, Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.
According to Tom Kowalski of MLive.com, McCoy might be a better fit for the scheme run by Jim Schwartz’s team. McCoy is a much more effective pass rusher than Suh is, but the former Cornhusker might be the most dominant prospect to come out of college football in a decade or so.
ESPN’s Todd McShay disagrees with Kowalski’s assessment, stating that Suh is a better fit for the Lions because Detroit needs a dominant physical presence up front. However, many people feel McCoy may be the best all-around player in the draft because of his ability to rush the passer.
Scouts Inc. grades Suh out as a 97 and McCoy as a 98, making McCoy the highest rated player on that board.
Suh’s only drawbacks seems to be questions about knee injuries (knee surgery in 2005, minor knee injury in spring of 2007) and a lack of “elite first-step quicks” despite overall good agility skills. He’s more of a bull-rusher in pass rushing situations and uses his strength to gain leverage and collapse pockets. He’s less of a “moves” guy and more of a power rusher. Suh also has off-the-charts intangibles, “Passionate about the game. No concerns regarding work ethic (or) off the field issues. Coaches rave about his football character.”
McCoy has shown the toughness to play through injuries and is an excellent pass rusher along with being solid against the run. McCoy has “Elite first-step quickness” and penetrates using excellent moves and quickness. He also has outstanding balance and can change direction and close with an excellent burst despite possessing good size for a tackle (6’4, 295). McCoy is also listed as possession near-perfect intangibles, “He is a well-respected leader and was voted a team captain. Serves as president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Also a member of the AFCA good works team.”
So which way will the Lions go? Both guys sound like almost perfect players. Both are almost undoubtedly the top two players in the 2010 NFL Draft. So, should the Lions go with the better pass rusher or the more disruptive, stronger guy?
Sadly, Detroit’s franchise quarterback Matt Stafford is probably begging the team to consider grabbing a different Big 12 tackle – Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung.