We have had numerous debates over who to choose at # 13, and undoubtedly will have many more. I wanted to stop and take a look at which prospects will realistically be there when it is the Lions turn to pick. Now of course, this is my opinion only that is based on what I have seen on various sites regarding Big Boards and Mock Drafts.
Walterfootball puts out a consensus Big Board of major draft Gurus like Mel Kiper (ESPN), Todd McShay (ESPN), Rob Rang (CBS), Scott Wright (DraftCountdown.com), Tony Pauline (Sports Illustrated), Wes Bunting's (NFP) and Mike Mayock (NFL Network).
I used his findings and my reviews of the same major gurus drafts to try and project who would be gone before the Lions pick. That list is:
DEFENCE: Bowers, Fairley, Dareus, Quinn, Miller, Peterson, and Amukamara.
OFFENCE: Green, Jones, Newton, and Gabbert.
After those eleven, there is a huge disparity in the next player chosen.
The two that show up the most ahead of the Lions are two DEs; Cameron Jordan and Aldon Smith. The next most popular is a third QB who could be Mallett or Locker. And last is the first OT to be taken which could be Castonzo, Solder or Tyron Smith. Most of the uncertainty seems to be around the Vikings, who I am seeing getting matched up with all of those players or whoever falls like Amukamara or Julio Jones or Robert Quinn.
My guess as to who will be available for the Lions are[by position] with my estimated % of availability:
DE - Cameron Jordan - 52% I think he is the most likely to go into the top dozen. A good fit for too many teams.
DE - Aldon Smith - 82% An intriguing prospect who will fit into a team looking for that edge speed rusher.
DE - JJ Watt - 91% Another big DE that loses out in comparison to Jordan IMO.
DE - Ryan Kerrigan - 99% A solid end that just does not have the upside to get in the top 12.
OT - Tyron Smith - 97.5% A project who could be the best of a so so group of OTs.
OT - Nate Solder - 97.5% A more established project who could be the first OT taken.
OT - Anthony Castonzo - 99% A solid Tackle who I just don't think has the sizzle to go earlier.
CB - Jimmy Smith - 99% Some team may roll the dice on this guy due to his potential shutdown ability.
CB - Brandon Harris - 100% I like him a lot, but I just don't see the chance he goes early.
RB - Mark Ingram - 95% I am not a big fan, but in the last twenty drafts only three times has an RB not been chosen in the top twelve picks. Those years were 2002, 2003, and 2004. If anyone goes, it will be him IMO.
I slightly increased a number of the players' probability due to the potential for a third QB going early. Whether that is Mallett, Locker, or whoever. Everyone else on the board will be 100% available for the Lions.
I know there has been some talk about Bowers dropping or Julio Jones, but I just don't see that there is anyone in the ELITE ELEVEN that will reasonably fall back to the Lions.
If you have any thoughts on why or the probablility that someone else will fall, please comment. I prefer to talk about the draft than .......well.......you know what.