With the final mocks making their rounds and the rumors still flowing we’re now less than a week away from the 2013 NFL Draft. In a way the draft itself has been a Super Bowl of sorts for Lions fans rewarding them with a relatively high pick after yet another disappointing season. And this season isn’t any different with the Lions picking fifth overall in the first round.
But really, where does Detroit see themselves at the end of the draft to hopefully ensure they start moving forward once again?
First let’s talk need. Detroit needs serious help at defensive end with a pass rusher in the first two rounds being a must. The question though will be is that pass rusher coming in the first or second round? For their first pick in the opening round the Lions will likely have Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan, and Mingo all available to them with DaMontre Moore, Okafor, Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner available in the second round. My thinking is Detroit waits till the 2nd for their pass rushing defensive end and with Brian Xanders’ Florida State ties, it will be one of the FSU DEs.
Second, Detroit wouldn’t be out of line trying to address outside linebacker or the corner back position. Dion Jordan will be there and is thought of as being a OLB/DE type while the best corner in this year’s draft Dee Milliner could also be there at five.
The 3rd round and later is where Detroit really needs to do better. By getting players that contribute from the later rounds the Lions can address some problem areas that have really been plaguing them in recent seasons. For instance where are the stud special teamers? Where’s Detroit’s 3rd or 4th round wide receiver that can move into the third wide out position? It needs to happen here. The 3rd round will consist of players like Khaseem Greene, Arthur Brown, Barrett Jones, KiKo Alonso, Jordan Poyer and Dallas Thomas. All players that can fill some void left by horrible picks in the past.
But ultimately what will be the pick for the Lions at five? The answer… Eric Fisher, offensive tackle, Central Michigan University. The Lions need a cornerstone piece here. They have had big losses on the offensive line and it’s been time to upgrade there anyways. Jeff Backus retiring makes this choice an easier one. Detroit will need to come away with the minimum of two starters so the Lions are in a good spot.
There have also been rumors of the Lions moving down to acquire more picks which would be a welcome sight for fans and really beneficial for the Lions but it’s always harder for a team to move down rather than move up.
As for my predictions, here it goes:
- 1st Round: Eric Fisher OT, CMU – He fills a need and could potentially could be better than the tackle ahead of him.
- 2nd Round: Tank Carradine DE, CMU – This will be a risk but Mayhew as we’ve seen at times in the past is not scared to take a risk. Carradine just ran a unofficial 4.75 40 yard dash 8 months after ACL surgery. He looks like he will be ready for the 2013 season and just might be a steal. The hope for the Lions is though he doesn’t garner too much attention.
- 3rd Round: Barrett Jones C/G, Alabama – He is going to slip with all the other offensive lineman building momentum leading up to the Draft. Why not slip to Detroit and possibly earn a job at right guard while being groomed to be Stafford’s future center?