The Detroit Lions' moves in free agency so far have really opened up their options in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. By adding Golden Tate, the Lions don't necessarily have to spend a first-round pick on a wide receiver, and that will also be the case at safety if they add James Ihedigbo. Also, by re-signing Brandon Pettigrew, there isn't pressure to take the top tight end in the draft.
SB Nation's 2014 NFL mock draft from last week actually fits quite well with the Lions' moves in free agency. It was actually put together before free agency began, but it goes along with the idea that they can truly take a best-player-available approach early on. In the first round, for example, the Lions are projected to take Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. I'm still not a fan of taking a cornerback in the first round, but with the addition of Tate, that idea is now a bit easier to swallow.
The Lions are projected to go offense in the second and third rounds of this mock draft. Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is the pick in the second round, and he makes sense simply because the Lions still need more talent at wide receiver, even after signing Tate. With Benjamin's big frame (he's 6'5), the Lions would have another large target by drafting him.
In the third round, Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz is the projected pick for the Lions. This pick doesn't make quite as much sense now that the Lions have re-signed Pettigrew, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have another talented tight end on the roster. That's especially true when you consider that the Lions could potentially get out of Pettigrew's contract in a year or two with minimal impact on the salary cap. Adding Fiedorowicz as a potential replacement for Pettigrew down the road certainly wouldn't be a bad idea.
How has free agency so far changed your thoughts on the first few rounds of the draft for the Lions?