Detroit Lions Draft Needs
It’s hard to believe that the Detroit Lions finished the 2012 season with a 4-12 record when you look at the talent this team has on both sides of the ball. They lost 10 games by 10-points or less and a lot of those losses were a result of stupid penalties and poor special teams play. The good news for Detroit is that they have the No. 5 overall pick in the draft, which should allow them to find an impact player who can help them win right away. Detroit’s biggest offseason addition has been RB Reggie Bush, but they also signed S Glover Quin and DE Jason Jones. Here’s a quick look at the five positions I feel the Lions need to address in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Lions used their first round pick last year on Iowa’s Riley Reiff, but with Gosder Cherilus leaving town and long-time left tackle Jeff Backus retiring, this is hands down their biggest need. Reiff has the potential to start at left tackle, but I think he’s better suited on the right side. With the 5th overall pick, Detroit figures to be able to land one of the top 3 tackle prospects. Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel is being rumored to be going to Kansas City, but both Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher and Oklahoma Lane Johnson could be available.
While the Lions added in Jones, he barely makes up for the losses of Cliff Avril (signed with Seattle) and Kyle Vanden Bosch (released). Whether it comes in the draft or free agency, Detroit needs to add someone who specializes in getting after the quarterback on the outside. I think BYU’s Exekiel Ansah and Oregon’s Dion Jordan are two players they will target if their still on the board.
This would have been a much bigger need had the Lions not been able to re-sign Chris Houston, but it’s still an area where they could use some help. It’s unlikely the Lions will go after Alabama’s Dee Milliner even if he is available, as there’s plenty of talent at this position to address it later on in the draft. There’s also the possibility that the Lions 5th round pick from last year in Chris Greenwood could emerge into a starter
The Lions lost starter Justin Durant (signed with Dallas) and that leaves them with a glaring hole at outside linebacker. As of right now, the top options on the depth chart would be Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis. Jordan out of Oregon has the potential to play on the outside, which will make it that much harder for them to pass up on the Duck if he’s still available. However, they should be able to find some help here later in the draft if they decide the talent at offensive tackle is too good to pass up.
Detroit has the best receiver in the league in Calvin Johnson, but they don’t have a whole lot to go with him. Titus Young has been shown the door and veteran Nate Burleson is getting up there in age and played in just six games last year. They did add Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles in the draft last year, but I think they need to continue to add weapons for Stafford.
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