With the Detroit Lions having such a big need at outside linebacker, you can expect to hear a lot of chatter about OLBs in the 2011 NFL Draft. One linebacker that there's already chatter about is North Carolina's Bruce Carter.
Carter has been described by many as being a first-round caliber linebacker if healthy, but the problem for him is that he's not healthy right now. He is coming off an ACL injury that he had surgery on back in December, and his stock has slid quite a bit as a result.
The only linebacker worth taking as early as pick No. 13 that will actually be available for the Lions seems to be UCLA's Akeem Ayers. If they wait until later in the NFL Draft to address the need at OLB, it's possible they could be banking on Carter falling to their second-round pick. Whether or not he will fall that far will depend on his recovery from the ACL injury, and the Lions plan on checking in on him both this weekend in Indianapolis and before the draft in Allen Park.
Mayhew said the Lions would likely bring North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter back for a second interview in Allen Park to update his physical. Carter, one of the highest rated linebackers in the draft, suffered a knee injury last year. While he'll get checked out medically this weekend in Indianapolis, the Lions want to bring him back in April for an update.
The best-case scenario for the Lions would be for teams to not take a chance on Carter because of the injury concerns. While it would be a bit of a risk for the Lions if they ended up drafting him, the payoff if he can get healthy and ready for the 2011 season would be pretty big, especially since he is an outside linebacker. As long as he is showing progress with his recovery, I definitely think he would be worth a second-round pick.