There has been much discussion about the Detroit Lions potentially taking Mark Barron with their first pick in the 2012 draft. In many ways this seems to make sense. He is the consensus top Safety in the draft and most pundits grade him out as a solid mid-late first round pick. A strong argument could be made that the Lions most pressing need is a safety to start next to Mr. Delmas. In our defensive scheme safeties are in many ways more important than corners and while it is debatable for sure, I think most of us are more comfortable with Jacob Lacy and Erin Berry across from Chris Houston than we are with Amari Spievey next to Delmas. A good safety could come in and contribute right away and improve our secondary and defense as a whole.
So the argument goes, if the top safety is on the board, we should take him over the 4th corner or 5th O-lineman that we are considering. Normally I would agree with this assessment but this year I don't. There are two questions I want to ask that will help us get to my reasoning. Is Mark Barron a better prospect that Louis Delmas? And are the 3 other safeties that can be had in the 2nd 3rd and 4th rounds better bangs for their buck at their draft spot? Lets take a look.
1. Mark Barron Did not work out and combine or pro-day. Serious Injury concerns. Just had double hernia surgery and missed time in last two college seasons. Projected 4.6 40 time 6-1 213 pounds. 33 5/8 arms are long. He has a good look and frame for the position.
2. Harrison Smith 40- 4.57 3-cone 6.63 shuttle 4.12 Vertical 34 Broad 122 Bench 19
Height: 6-2. Weight: 213. Arm: 32 5/8. Hand: 10 1/8.
Just climbing up draft boards. Could be a late first round pick now. Probably will fall to the early second. Doesn't really have a flaw to his game. If he ran a 4.5 flat 40 would be an automatic first round pick. Was number one in the 3 cone and and 2nd in the shuttle so I have a feeling he is deceptively quick. A total play maker. Huge hands. Almost never drops the ball. In many ways the perfect compliment to Delmas. Durable
3. Brandon Taylor 40- 4.50 3-cone 7.32 shuttle 4.37 Vertical 33.5 Broad 118 Bench DNP
Height: 5-11. Weight: 209. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 9 1/8.
Major Sleeper prospect. Ran well at combine and looked great at Senior Bowl. LSU makes them good on Defense. This could be a great value in the 3rd round. Ready to step in and help right away.
4. Trent RIchardson 40- 4.52 3-cone DNP shuttle 4.15 Vertical 35 Broad 125 Bench 15
Height: 5-10. Weight: 195. Arm: 31 1/2. Hand: 9 3/4. At his pro day, he ran the 40 at 4.42
I don't like MSU so I tend to disregard anything i hear about players from MSU as overexcited fans. But it looks like this kid is just good. Apparently our FO likes the idea of him in the 4th round if Barron isn't there at 23. I don't like Barron from what I have seen so I hope he isn't there. If we went the Trent route I would hope for a signing of O.J. Otogwe for a year or two.
So after looking at the numbers and watching all the game tape of each these prospects I could find......My conclusion is that Mark Barron at 23 is NOT worth the risk. We already have an injury plagued safety. We don't need another especially when there are three other choices that are ALL solid and better value in their respective rounds. Harrison Smith is now in my top 3 list for players to target if we trade back. At the end of the first round he could be the perfect compliment to Delmas. His frame is amazing and his hands are enormous. If that doesn't happen I can't help but feel that Trent Richardson could be one of the gems of the draft in the late 4th round where we are picking. We could sign O.J. Otogwe to see what he has left and let Spievey and Trent develop behind. Worst case scenario is that we have two quality special team players and really good depth. But I have this feeling that Trent could be the next Bob Sanders.....and maybe he will stay a bit healthier. Only time will tell. But I don't think drafting Mark Barron makes as much sense as it would seem if their is a comparable corner or Olineman on the board. Just my two cents!!!
Bonus section : Louis Delmas numbers
|5'11" *||202 lb 40x-*||4.50 *||shuttle 4.17 *||3cone 6.67 *||vert 37 in. *||broad 10'6" * bench