Round One (5th overall pick)
OT from Central Michigan – Eric Fisher
Has this pick become obvious or is there still a debate about it? For me I don’t think there’s any debate on it. This pick has to be an offensive lineman whether it’s the two best offensive tackles in the draft in Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel… or possibly the two best guards in Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack. Not to mention it makes absolute sense to replace Jeff Backus who recently retired and to protect your $20 million dollar quarterback.
Comparison: Russell Okung – Seattle Seahawks
Round Two (36th overall pick)
DE from Texas – Alex Okafor
As nice as the addition of Jason Jones will be as well as using a 2nd round tender on Willie Young to bring him back, the only other DE on the roster is Ronnell Lewis. You’re just asking for too much from a second year player who has limited experience to come out and start or play that much. Okafor has been a player I’ve been high on until the Senior Bowl where it looked like he was just getting beat all around the field. Again though, he’s much needed and is the best DE on the board at this point of the draft. It will take some time but Okafor will grow and become a really good football player.
Comparison: Ray Edwards – Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons
Round Three (65th overall pick)
CB from Connecticut – Dwayne Gratz
Multiple reports believe that either the round two or round three pick will be used on a wide receiver. I certainly hope not and that’s why I’m going with Dwayne Gratz. He’s not a true number one corner but he has all the potential in the world to be a number two corner which is fine since our roster is filled with nickel type guys. Gratz and Houston could pan out to be a really good combo for the next few seasons.
Comparison: Chris Houston – Detroit Lions
Round Four (compensatory) (132nd overall pick)
WR from Virginia Tech – Corey Fuller
Back to the multiple reports here. If we’re going to take a wide receiver, we have to use one of our compensatory picks on that position. Fuller had 26 teams take a look at him a few weeks ago and odds are the Lions were one of those teams. He’s predicted to go in rounds 5-6 on some sites and 4-5 on others. Overall, he should be here for the Lions and has great potential playing alongside Calvin, Burleson and Broyles. Currently the most intriguing aspect of his game is his ability to separate himself from linebackers while running down field.
Comparison: Earl Bennett – Chicago Bears
Round Five (137th overall pick)
TE from Colorado – Nick Kasa
I’ve heard from some sites that the Lions are also interested in finding another tight end in the draft this year. I’d think that means that Brandon Pettigrew is on thin ice right? With that being said Kasa makes sense at this point in the draft. He should be there in the fifth round and would benefit in a special teams role for his first season gaining experience at his new position which he’s only been playing for a year.
Comparison: Brandon Myers – Oakland Raiders
Round Six (171st overall pick)
DT from Florida State – Anthony McCloud
Adding Jason Jones and CJ Mosley to the interior defensive line has been nice but with Fairley having injury concerns in seasons past and Mosley having only decent numbers, adding one more big body would be nice. McCloud is 6’2 with 322 pounds behind it. I’ll take that all day. His hands are also 11 inches while having 5.3 speed. Clearly he’s a stop the run kind of player which will be needed when playing guys like Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte and Michael Bush.
Comparison: Shaun Smith – Kansas City Chiefs
Round Seven (211th overall pick)
C from South Carolina – TJ Johnson
The Lions have to start preparing for life after Dominic Raiola right? I’m not saying Johnson is that guy but Raiola could very well end up hurting himself like Backus did so you have to be prepared. Off hand Johnson plays too tall most times after he snaps which is a bad sign because most defensive tackles will expose him. Overall he has average potential for being a seventh round pick but for now his job is just to be a backup.
Comparison: Kevin Kowalski – Dallas Cowboys
Round Seven (compensatory) (245th pick)
DE from Ole Miss – Gerald Rivers
There isn’t anything on the guy other than the fact that he didn’t play last year because of academic issues. Outside of that, he’s quite athletic for being 6’5 and 250 pounds. At his pro day last month he ran in the 4.5 range for his forty and had a vertical leap of 37 inches. I’ve yet to see any videos on him so I’m just going off the fact that his stock is on the rise since his pro day.
Comparison: Willie Young?