2012 NFL Draft Prognosticating – Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions will draft the best player available. Last year, Nick Fairley slipped to the Lions at #13, and Mayhew & Co. didn’t hesitate to cross the next highest rated player off of their board. Don’t expect anything different this season.
Clearly, the Detroit Lions need help at CB, S, OL, and could use further depth at LB. The offensive line is an underrated pass protection group, but struggled to create holes between the A and B gaps. The biggest concern here isn’t last season’s production, but rather the potentiality of a drop off due to age.
The secondary struggled, but injuries to Louis Delmas, Aaron Berry, and Chris Houston down the stretch didn’t help the unit remain cohesive. Still, to win our division (necessary and plausible going forward), we have to find a way to slow down the Green Bay Packers onslaught of weapons. Currently constituted, we don’t have the pieces to consistently do that. Safety Amari Spievey looks entirely out of place.
Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant were key additions. Frankly, not enough is mentioned regarding Durant’s solid play; though not flashy, Durant made plays. Stephen Tulloch struggled in the playoff loss to New Orleans, but nonetheless remained the glue to our defense all season long. Reliable, quick, and intelligent, a case could be made for Tulloch being more of an offseason priority than Avril.
This leads me to potential Lions draft picks, round-by-round.
Possibilities abound. Trading out of this spot with Baltimore at #29, or San Francisco at #30 may be options, and if a player entices the Lions enough, don’t be surprised if they trade up. Remember, Mayhew wanted CB Patrick Peterson, but the Cardinals decided to stand pat, ultimately landing the top flight corner and return ace.
The Ravens will be looking for Ray Lewis’ long-term replacement, and may fear LB Vontaze Burfict would be gone at #29, though character concerns make this unlikely. The 49ers need a WR and CB. If they fall in love with one particular player they fear the Lions might take (think CB Chase Minnifield, who fits the Niners mold), they might swap first and second round picks with us, and potentially throw in their 6th round pick. Due to the depth at offensive line, it may behoove the Lions to think along these lines.
RD 1 – PICK 23
MY PICK: OG CORDY GLENN – GEORGIA
Glenn played with Matthew Stafford at Georgia, but that isn’t the reason he’s my pick. According to cbssports.com, “Cordy Glenn enters his senior campaign having started 36 games at left guard, right guard and left tackle. Scouts aren't only impressed with his versatility, they're left in awe at the athleticism demonstrated by the 6-5, 338 pound mountain of a man.”
The New Orleans Saints have shown what powerful guards, Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks, can do for an offense. Stephen Peterman picked up his play when the Lions signed OG Leonard Davis, but he’s 30 years old and surely hasn’t proven to be the mauling interior presence the Lions ground game will need next season. Furthermore, the Lions were fortunate this season to not have any key injuries along their line. The football gods may not be as kind going forward, adding to the importance of a versatile, athletic offensive lineman.
SLEEPER PICK: DE WHITNEY MERCILUS – ILLINOIS
I love this guy. Last year I was hoping for Ryan Kerrigan or JJ Watt, both productive their first year. Not enough gets made of guys with high motors, heart, and a “crazy edge". Whitney Mercilus possesses each of these attributes. Was he a one-year wonder? Yes, he was. So were Jason Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith. If Uncle Cliff wants too much, and he might, you have to begin to look at potential additions. Even if he stays, Kyle Vanden Bosch can’t play forever.
RD 2 – PICK 54
There are a few names that stand out here: LB Bobby Wagner, RB Doug Martin, CB Leonard Johnson, CB Dwight Bentley, and G Kelechi Osemele. I don’t think Osemele is still around, but could you imagine Glenn and Osemele in rounds 1 and 2?
I suspect Janoris Jenkins, Alfonzo Dennard (overrated), and Dre’ Kirkpatrick are gone. We need help at corner, and there is one guy that fits our mold…
MY PICK: CB LEONARD JOHNSON – IOWA STATE
Johnson is fiery, has solid ball skills, an attitude, and is excellent in run support and as a tackler. This guy is going to be a very good NFL corner. Sign Cortland Finnegan (born to be a Lion, and a Detroiter), and draft CB Leonard Johnson.
SLEEPER PICK: RB DOUG MARTIN – BOISE STATE
Teach me how to “Dougy.” Doug Martin has been compared to Ray Rice and MJD. If he’s close, he may be worth the selection. However, if Best is good to go, this shouldn’t be the selection.
RD 3 – PICK 86
MY PICK: OT MITCHELL SCHWARTZ – CALIFORNIA
RD 4 – PICK 117
MY PICK: CB DWIGHT BENTLEY – LA. LAFAYETTE
RD 5 – PICK 150
MY PICK: WR JORDAN WHITE – WESTERN MICHIGAN
RD 7 – PICK 202
MY PICK: LB DANNY TREVATHAN – KENTUCKY
By: Dustin J Quarrella