Hello fellow Lions fans! Here is a relevant post concerning the Lions' chances of drafting Eric Fisher on my blog the Mocktopus, which tracks my efforts to create mock drafts based on advanced statistics.
As a fan of the Detroit Lions, I cannot help but be pleased with their options at number five. Indeed, the Mocktopus thinks that there is a tremendous chance that a quality player who will fill a team need will be available at the fifth overall pick.
After the retirement of Jeff Backus, the Lions' greatest need may be left tackle. Although second-year man Riley Reiff was a high draft pick last year, he was unable to beat out Gosder Cherilus for the starting role at right tackle as a rookie, and moreover, with Reiff at left tackle, the Lions would have very little to offer on the right side.
The Mocktopus believes that if the Detroit Lions want Eric Fisher, who some think is the best player available in the draft at any position, they can likely have him. Fisher was available to the Lions in almost 73% of the Mocktopus' simulations. Assuming the Chiefs take Luke Joeckel as expected, that number goes up to almost 83%. Similarly, if the Lions prefer Dee Milliner or Ziggy Ansah, each are available at number five in about 76% of simulations.
Indeed, the Lions' nightmare scenario, which is fairly unlikely to occur, probably looks something like this:
1. Kansas City Chiefs / Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville Jaguars / Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
3. Oakland Raiders / Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
4. Philadelphia Eagles / Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Even in the nightmare scenario, Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson would be available. The Mocktopus slots Johnson as about the eighth best player at the draft, so in effect, the worst case scenario is that the Lions make a slight reach to fill a position of great need. As far as worst case scenarios go, that one is pretty good.
The Detroit Lions are well-positioned at number five. In his latest mock draft, Mel Kiper predicts that the Lions will trade up to the number one overall pick to draft Dee Milliner. That trade would be an extremely foolish one for the Lions to make. Milliner will most likely fall to the Detroit Lions anyway, and moreover, even if someone takes Milliner in the top four, it is highly probable that the Lions will be able to get good value at another position of need. Indeed, if Milliner is truly number one on their board, it would probably not even be worth it to swap picks with the Chiefs for free, given the larger contracts that come with the number one pick. If the Lions were to trade up at all (which I doubt), the most likely scenario (in my mind) is that they would swap with the Oakland Raiders to secure the services of Eric Fisher before he makes it to the Eagles.