Pride of Detroit, I will be representing your dear Lions in the upcoming Arrowhead Pride Mock Draft. For those of you unfamiliar with Arrowhead Pride, we are the SBNation Kansas City Chiefs blog. We love our Chiefs dearly, and have struggled through some very trying times the past decade. This is a point that we very much have in common. Another point that we have in common is that despite a disappointing 2012 campaign, both of our teams are loaded with talent and are very hopeful for a much improved 2013 season. One thing we don't have in common is you have a franchise QB, and well... we have Alex Smith. Between Stafford and Megatron your passing attack makes me quite jealous to say the least. But I digress...
I have done some preliminary research on your team, and have addressed the following positions as your greatest needs:
OT- With the retirement of Jeff Backus, and the loss of Gosder Cherilus to free agency, your tackle situation is looking fairly dire. Mayhew showed some good forethought by drafting the second tackle off the board, Riley Reiff, with your first round selection in 2012, and it would be safe to assume at this point that he will be holding down one of these tackle positions. But is he cut out to be a franchise LT? At times he looked promising, but he seemed overwhelmed in the 2 games he started at LT when Backus was out.
DE- With the loss of Cliff Avril to free agency and the release of the aging Kyle Vanderbosch, this situation may be even more dire than the tackle spot. Jason Jones was a strong signing, and should thrive in Gunther’s defense, but this still leaves question marks at the other DE position.
CB- Several moves have been made to improve the Detroit secondary this offseason, so this may not seem like the most pressing need. Resigning Chris Houston and Louis Delmas was huge, and the free agent acquisition of Glover Quinn will make the safety spot a strength for this team. That said, there are still question marks for the #2 cornerback spot.
With these needs identified, I have a short list of players that I believe would greatly improve your Lions squad. There will be some combination of BPA and need when the Lions go on the clock with the 5th pick in the upcoming draft, but I believe one of these players will be the pick:
Luke Joeckel- Somewhat of a pipe dream for Lions fans, if he is available when you go on the clock at the five spot, this is a no-brainer.
Eric Fisher- Almost equally a no-brainer as Joeckel. Many even have him as the top OT in the draft (myself included). I think most fans would be thrilled with this selection if he makes it down that far.
Ezekiel Ansah- One of my personal favorite players in this upcoming draft. His skill set is still a bit raw, but he has only played football for a few short years and has nearly unlimited upside. Could be a beast of a DE for years to come.
Dee Millner- If for whatever reason all three of the above players are gone, Millner could very easily be the best option left available. He has a great combination of speed and strength, and his cover skills are impressive. The addition of Millner to this Lions secondary would make them a fearsome group.
Well Lions fans, these are my thoughts on your upcoming draft. Please comment and let me know if my line of thinking seems accurate with how you perceive your team needs, and if the players I am targeting seem appropriate to you. If you believe that there are other options that I should be considering I would love for you to post that in the comments as well, but please give details as to why they deserve my consideration.
Thank you in advance for your feedback, I will be looking forward to hearing what you guys think. Another fellow AP member Akr_Baby made your pick last year. He assures me you will be a valuable asset in my quest for information, and gives you all his best regards. I will be making the selection this coming Wednesday, April 3rd, so stop on by Arrowhead Pride to see the results and let me know how I did.