I know, I know...it's too early in the season to start talking about the draft. However, for draft junkies like myself, it's never too early to start talking about the draft. It’s like my second SuperBowl! As a rule of thumb though, I like to wait until after the first game of the season for draft talk, that way we have a better idea of what needs the previous draft filled for us.
So I'm pretty excited about this year’s college prospects, because there is a nice surplus of talent at our positional needs. Primarily, we have the ability to address our needs in the secondary through this draft. With the way the NFL has become a pass happy league, stopping the pass is detrimental to anyone wanting to make it to the post-season.
I think the Lions will be looking by position, in this order (pending best available):
Here is my Watch List top 5 per position:
CB: Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State; Johnny Adams, Michigan State; Xavier Rhodes, FSU, David Amerson, NCS; Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
Watch out for: **Tyrann Mathieu is a wild card here. He enrolled is LSU (supposedly paying his way with student loans) in hopes of returning to the team next season. He has agreed to maintain his required GPA and I read on twitter (about as good as quoting Wikipedia) that he signed off on random drug testing approval. This has in no way been verified. However, I believe if anything happens where he is not allowed back on the team, he will apply for the draft opposed to finding a new collegiate home.
S: Eric Reid, LSU; T.J. McDonald, USC; Tony Jefferson, OU; Bacarri Rambo, UGA; Robert Lester, Alabama
C/G: Barrett Jones, Alabama; Khaled Holmes, USC; Chance Warmack, Alabama; Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina; James Wilson, UF
DE: Barkevious Mingo, LSU; Sam Montgomery, LSU; Brandon Jenkins, FSU; William Gholston, DE; Dominique Easley, UF
Agree or disagree, this is my list for now. Louis Delmas is a key player to keep an eye on for this season. If he cannot get healthy again, safety becomes a gaping hole for our Lions and it overtakes the #1 need. Delmas is a BEAST when he is healthy, but if he can play, then he can’t be impactful. Wendling is a good backup and Spivey is just too inconsistent. Also, I am a fan of athletic safeties and I believe they can be the biggest playmakers on defense. In the modern day NFL, a big, athletic safety can be both effective at defending the pass and the run.