NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock talked about a variety of subjects in a conference call with the media earlier this week, and some of the questions involved the Detroit Lions.
When asked about the cornerback situation and how it relates to the Lions, Mayock said that he doesn't think a top-tier guy will be available come the No. 13 pick. Mayock believes that LSU's Patrick Peterson and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara are head and shoulders better than other corners available, which is why the Lions might be in a tough spot with the 13th selection. Colorado's Jimmy Smith isn't worthy of the 13th pick in Mayock's eyes, and he actually thinks Miami's Brandon Harris is a second- or third-round pick at best.
If for some reason Amukamara falls out of the top ten and is there when the Lions go on the clock, Mayock thinks he should be the pick. If that doesn't happen, then it sounds like Mayock believes the Lions should draft an offensive tackle. He has Boston College's Anthony Castonzo rated as his top offensive tackle in the draft, ahead of Colorado's Nate Solder, who is predicted to be Detroit's pick in many mock drafts.
One of the reasons Mayock thinks the Lions should go with an offensive tackle if they can't get Amukamara is because there aren't going to be any top-tier linebackers available at the 13th pick. (He does think UCLA's Akeem Ayers is a "logical" choice for the 17th pick when the Patriots go on the clock, but Mayock didn't mention him when asked about the Lions.) North Carolina's Bruce Carter would have the value of a first-round pick if he hadn't torn his ACL last year, according to Mayock, but risking a pick that early on someone not healthy would be dangerous. Texas A&M's Von Miller is without a doubt worth the 13th pick, but he is expected to be a top ten or possibly even top five selection.