I am calling this the "little board" because it is my version of a team's big board, but only with 5 players because at least one of them would be guaranteed to be available at pick #5 of the first round. I wanted to make a post that was more about how I ranked the players and their value to this team, and not to necessarily predict how the draft will actually play out.
I am writing this with the idea that the Lions do not end up with a suitable partner to trade picks with. I, like many around here have stated, would love to see them trade to move back and acquire more picks, but that is always a complete crap-shoot.
So, without further adieu:
1) Luke Joeckel (OT - TA&M): This guy is a top end talent at a premier position. Many have said he is the best T prospect to enter the draft since Jake Long. I he is available I think the Lions should take him. With Joeckel and Reiff the Lions would have a great set of bookends for years to come and there would be no worries about Backus or Cherilus retiring or leaving in FA. For once we might be able to make the OLine a strength of this team.
2) Bjeorn Werner (DE - Fla St.): To me this seems the most likely pick. I honestly think Joeckel will be off the board at #5, but this is a great "consolation prize". The Lions are in need of pass rushers and he fits the bill. He also looks to be very good at stuffing the run (something that has been missing from this DLine the last couple of seasons). Great talent at a position of great need. He also mostly played the LDE spot last season for Florida State, the same position Cliff Avril typically plays for us, so if we lose Cliff (seems very likely) we have the replacement ready.
3) Damontre Moore (DE - TA&M): Moore is just a good of a pass rushing talent as Werner, but I have him listed here because he is a bit more of a "tweener". I think Werner is the better pure 4-3 DE, while Moore has great value in that he could play 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. I think if Werner and Joeckel are gone we should take Moore.
4) Chance Warmack (OG - ALA): This is where it starts to get a bit dicey. I think Star Lotulelei is the better raw talent, but we already have too much invested at DT between Suh and Fairley, so unless something changes at that position I can't justify taking a DT with the #5 pick. Warmack is viewed by most as a very safe pick, and he would go a long way toward solidifying out interior OLine. He has been a standout in the SEC on a team that likes to run the ball his way, and I don't see how he isn't an upgrade over Peterman at RG.
5) Jarvis Jones (OLB - Georgia): I honestly don't think all four of the above players will be gone at #5, but just as an insurance policy this is my pick. If it weren't for the whole spinal stenosis ordeal I would have him listed before Warmack, and possibly even Moore, but that condition makes this pick very risky. Jones is definitely a top end talent and the Lions will likely need help at OLB (I would argue that even with Levy and Durant on the roster we still need an upgrade).
Honorable mentions: These are players that I would not be unhappy with, but from the research I have done (which is admittedly little) they seem like they are too much of a reach.
Dee Milliner (CB - ALA)
Kenny Vaccaro (S - Texas)
Eric Fisher (OT - CMich)
Ezekiel Ansah (DE - BYU)
If we do move back in the draft I would love any of these players. So, let me know what you think, and would you arrange your "little board" differently if you were the Lions GM?