The Detroit Lions drafted Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus after trading down to the 17th pick of the 2008 NFL Draft (in return, they got the Chiefs' fifth-round pick and swapped third-rounders with KC). Detroit had to resort to "Plan C" after defensive end Derrick Harvey was drafted 8th overall by the Jaguars, and then linebacker Jerod Mayo surprisingly was taken 10th overall by the Patriots.
It was expected that Mayo would still be around when the Lions went on the clock, but New England screwed things up by trading down and drafting him. Because of that, Detroit's "Plan C" went into effect, leading them to draft Gosder Cherilus, who will fill a need at offensive tackle.
With Harvey and Mayo gone, Detroit shifted their focus from defense to offense. There were solid options at cornerback still available, but Detroit really didn't want to go in that direction. That line of thinking meant that the Lions would draft a running back or an offensive tackle, and in the end they went with a lineman. Rashard Mendenhall still was on the board, but the Lions never seemed high on him, leading to the pick being either Gosder Cherilus or Jeff Otah, another offensive tackle.
I was surprised Detroit didn't select Otah as he was rated higher than Cherilus by most "experts." Even so, Rod Marinelli would rather have someone that is his kind of player and of course, ratings don't mean that much either. On top of that, Cherilus is more of a right tackle. Since Jeff Backus won't be moved from left tackle anytime soon, Cherilus can come in and challenge for the starting job on the right side.
Initially I was a little upset with the pick, but when you really think about it, there's not a huge difference between Jeff Otah and Cherilus. Cherilus does actually fit what Detroit needs right now more than Otah since he has played more at RT, and he has the experience to come in and be effective from day one.
Cherilus projects to be able to start right away and give the Detroit some consistency on the right side, having started 53 consecutive games for Boston College.
I'll do some research and have more info on Cherilus at a later time, but until then, you can check out some videos of him in the FanShots section .