2014 NFL mock draft: How about a linebacker for Lions?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than add help at wide receiver or in the secondary, how about a linebacker for the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft?

With the Detroit Lions landing the 10th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, they are in a good position to end up with a top player, especially with so many teams ahead of them needing a quarterback. A run on quarterbacks could push some of the top non-QBs down the board, and that's basically what happened in SB Nation's latest 2014 NFL mock draft.

In this particular mock, the Lions are projected to take UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. The Lions are really in need of a wide receiver more than anything at this point, but Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans are both projected to be off the board before the Lions pick in this mock. There are also four quarterbacks projected to be taken before the Lions go on the clock in this mock draft, resulting in Barr falling to them.

On the one hand, do the Lions really need to spend a first-round pick on an outside linebacker considering they are in the nickel so often? A lot of times they'll have just DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch on the field, and those two guys aren't going anywhere after a strong season.

Then again, if the Lions were to draft a talent like Barr, perhaps they wouldn't feel the need to be in the nickel quite as often. He could be a very valuable pass rusher, and he would give the Lions a reason to stay in their regular 4-3 set more often.

It's so early in the draft process that we will have plenty of time to debate what position the Lions should target with their first-round pick, especially with the draft being pushed back until May this year. Even so, it is an interesting question to think about. Should the Lions give Calvin Johnson some help by going with a wide receiver, or should they add more talent to the back seven of the defense? What do you think?

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