Lions draft Florida LB Jarrad Davis at No. 21 overall pick
By LARRY LAGE , AP Sports Writer
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions selected Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis with the No. 21 pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.
Detroit addressed a desperate need in adding a player who could fill in for released linebacker DeAndre Levy and perhaps bolster the franchise’s weakest link.
The 6-foot-1, 238-pound Davis missed about a third of last season with an ankle injury, but was still second-team All-SEC. He played in nine games, making 60 tackles, including two sacks.
It looked like the Lions were going to be in a good position to add a defensive player they coveted when eight of the first 12 picks were used on offense. The next five picks, though, were all defensive players before Tampa Bay took Alabama tight end O.J. Howard No. 19 overall. Denver followed by selecting Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles, leaving Detroit to draft Davis.
Detroit will get another chance to improve its roster under second-year general manager Bob Quinn on Friday night with the No. 21 pick in the second round, the 53rd selection overall. The franchise has a pick in each of the next five rounds, including a pair of picks in the sixth.
The Lions most significant additions this offseason have been on offense, signing veteran linemen Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang.
The Lions surged atop the NFC North last season with eight wins in a nine-game stretch and became the first NFL team to come back from fourth-quarter deficits to win eight games in single season. Lions, though, closed with three straight setbacks to spoil shot at winning division title for first time since 1993. Lions lost at Seattle 26-6 in a wild-card game, extending their postseason losing streak to nine games over 25 years.