“We draft based on best player available, not on positional needs”
This quote resides in the minds of all executives in the NFL to this day. The Detroit Lions front office has taken this approach in the last decade with mixed results. They drafted WR Calvin Johnson after having taken a WR in 3 of the previous 4 drafts. Those 3 wide receivers are out of the league while Calvin Johnson broke the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season.
This year figures to be much of the same. Even with a need on the offensive line, the Lions will not waiver at drafting a cornerback such as Dee Milliner from Alabama with the #5 pick because he is the best available player regardless of position. This will become even more noticeable in the 2nd round where most sites have the Lions going DE Demontre Moore from Texas A&M instead of one of the top 10 offensive lineman because again Moore is the better player regardless of position.
Tune in this Thursday, April 25th at 7:30PM for the first round of the NFL draft and see what route the Lions take in rebuilding their perennial playoff team!
The Lions currently hold 8 draft picks in the 2013 NFL draft. 3 of their picks are in the top 65 overall, while they have 5 picks on the second day. Here is what we believe they will do with each pick.
1st Round (#5 overall): CB Dee Milliner (Alabama). Here is the only draft pick we believe is a guarantee for the Lions if he falls in their lap.
2nd Round (#36 overall): OT Menelik Watson (Florida State). We believe the Lions attempt to shore up their offensive line after the top lineman are gone before pick #5 in the first round. They take a first round talent early in the 2nd round here.
3rd Round (#65 overall): CB David Amerson (North Carolina State). A steal of a pick for the Lions here as Amerson is one of the top CB available and was a projected 1st round pick last year.
4th Round (#132 overall): CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU). It’s not a secret that the Lions secondary was horrible last year. Mathieu is a high risk/high reward pick as his skills on the field are great but his off-field troubles could de-rail his career. A 4th round pick has no guaranteed money and is a good risk for the Lions here.
5th Round (#137 overall): DE William Gholston (Michigan State). The Lions stay in their own backyard and take the replacement to DE Cliff Avril in Gholston. He is a physical freak of nature and can come in and play a role as a rookie.
6th Round (#171 overall): TE Dion Sims (Michigan State). The Lions make it back to back Spartans in their selection of SIms. A good talent with a great build, he can come in and be the 3rd TE this year and replace Scheffler after next year.
7th Round (#211 overall): S Robert Lester (Alabama). Another future draft pick to be used to groom a safety to take over for Louis Delmas incase he is lost to free-agency next year.
Let us know what you think of this draft and how it fits the Lions!
Detroit Lions target with #5 pick.
The Lions are one of many teams in need of a cornerback in the upcoming draft. The sexy pick and the most commonly selected player to fit with the Lions is CB Dee Milliner (Alabama University) who is projected by many analysts to go #5 to the Lions in the first round. (We projected him in the same spot). The player that a lot of people are beginning to take notice of as a comeback story is CB Tyrann Mathieu formerly of LSU. He was kicked off the team in 2012 after numerous failed drug tests. The year before, he was a top CB in college football as well as finishing 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting as a defensive back.
We as a public are suckers for a comeback story though. After having admitted to prior drug problems, he spent the last year to get clean and get his career back on track. He tested great at last months NFL combine of the top players and is considered a top prospect if not for his personal problems and being a little shorter than what is deemed to be acceptable. If the Lions are able to get a player of his caliber to play the slot defensive back position or the nickleback corner spot, it would be a great fit. He is already slipped in mock drafts but if we can get him in the 3rd round, he’s a gamble worth taking due to his high reward possibility. With the proper coaching and ability to handle his off the field issues, we believe he can be a starting caliber cornerback in the NFL within 3 years and in the 3rd round would be a steal.
As word has leaked out about the incident at the Boston Marathon yesterday afternoon, the NFL draft security will be bolstered. According to the AP, the league will be adding more security to Radio City Hall in downtown New York City for the weekend of April 28 to make sure that no incidents occur. While commissioner Roger Goddell has come out and stated that this event is not prone to any sort of attacks, he is not taking any chances and wants to make sure that the fans are fully protected as well as team officials and those in charge. “We will not hold back on security and will go as far as we need to. We need to insure that nothing will be because of lack of security at the NFL Draft.”
With the NFL draft being so close, its time for the mock draft!
1) Kansas City Chiefs : OT Luke Joeckel
2) Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Shariff Floyd
3) Oakland Riaders: OT Eric Fisher
4) Philadelphia Eagles: DE Dion Jordan
5) Detroit Lions: CB Dee Milliner
6) Miami Dolphins: OT Lane Johnson
7) Arizona Cardinals: QB Geno Smith
8) Buffalo Bills: QB Ryan Nassib
9) New York Jets: NT Star Lotuleiei
10) Tennessee Titans: DE Ezekiel Ansah
11) San Diego Chargers: G Chance Warmack
12) Cleveland Browns: CB Xavier Rhodes
13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TE Tyler Eifert
14) New Orleans Saints: DE Berkevious Mingo
15) Carolina Panthers: DT Sheldon Richardson
16) St.Louis Rams: S Kenny Vaccaro
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: OLB Jarvis Jones
18) Dallas Cowboys: G D.J. Fluker
19) New York Giants: G Jonathan Cooper
20) Chicago Bears: WR Cordelle Patterson
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Alec Ogletree
22) St.Louis Rams: WR Tavon Austin
23) Minnesota Vikings: LB Manti T’eo
24) Indianapolis Colts: DE Datonte Jones
25) Minnesota Vikings: WR DeAndre Hopkins
26) Green Packers: DT Sylvester Williams
27) Houston Texans: WR Justin Hunter
28) Denver Broncos: DE Bjorn Werner
29) New England Patriots: S Matt Elam
30) Atlanta Falcons: CB Desmond Trufant
31) San Francisco 49ers: S Jonathan Cyprien
32) Baltimore Ravens: WR Keenan Allen
These picks are as of the current needs of teams and might change due to trades prior to the draft! Let the debating begin!!!
The word is out already. The Lions were able to talk a few of their key players into taking a pay cut for the upcoming year. Key core players such as QB Matthew Stafford, DT Ndamukong Suh and WR Calvin Johnson were all able to rework their contracts in order to be able to save the Lions an estimated 11 million dollars for the upcoming year as well as over 40 million in the next 3 years. (Associated Press) reports that they were able to defer a lot of their salaries for the 2012 season into signing bonuses to be able to save money for the team against the cap.
These key changes have allowed the Lions to continue winning the off-season by allowing them to be in the running for WR Darrius Heyward Bey (former Raiders 1st round pick). This would be a great upgrade for a team that lost WR Titus Young earlier in the off-season (released due to attitude issues) and is in desperate need for another wide receiver to compliment Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles (who missed last few games due to injury). The key thing for the Lions in terms of Heyward Bey is the speed aspect. He ran a 4.35 in the 40 yard dash and would add a speed receiver to the Lions to pair up with the receivers and tight ends (along with newly acquired HB Reggie Bush) to make Stafford happy for years to come.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Lions this week as talks are heating up with the projected pick for the Lions at #5 now switching to the defensive side of the ball. (AP broke news of Lions LB Justin Durant being signed by the Cowboys at the time of this post).