I really can't provide the linky or remember where or when he said this, but I do distinctly remember Jim Schwartz saying that "The direction of this franchise starts and ends with Matthew Stafford staying healthy." Obviously not in the same exact dialogue, but nonetheless it was said in the same context. So, among the fact that Stafford is the most important player on the team, and the most expensive, I believe that they will do whatever it takes to keep their 72 million dollar arm safe and out of harm's way.
Nate Solder- Offensive tackle-Colorado!
No, I didn't want them to select this guy earlier on as some might remember my clamor for Jimmy Smith, but the main thing that makes me think we will draft a offensive tackle is no other than Mr. Schwartz himself.
The available talent at #13 is also a contributing factor as well. After Peterson and Amukamara, the cornerbacks talent dips significantly or have major issues off the field which may deter the brass from drafting a corner in the 1st round if Peterson or Amukamara is not there. The linebackers in the first round aren't any different, outside of Von Miller, nobody is worth the 13th pick.
You have a few pass rushers that might be worth the 13th overall, but with the d-line already being a strength and having developmental projects like Sammie Lee Hill and Willie Young, it just makes more sense to draft a blindside tackle like a Nate Solder. He's big, athletic, and can even play guard as some might have already known. I don't think Mayhew will bypass this guy if he's there at #13 unless Amukamara is there.
If the tackle he wants isn't there, he might grab a pass rusher. Amukamara really is the corner they covet, thanks in large part to Suh for vouching for him. I don't believe anymore that Mayhew has any interest in Jimmy Smith unless he dips to the 2nd round, then you almost have to draft him. It's either Amukamara, or an offensive tackle as my guess.
Now, I have a poll attached to see who you guys think the Lions will select 44th overall. I think if Jimmy Smith or Brandon Harris is still there that they should take him, but if Akeem Ayers is there it would also be hard to not take too.