Throughout the offseason, we've seen plenty of mock drafts. Most media outlets believe that the Lions are in dire need of a CB in the upcoming draft. They are half-right. We do need help at the CB position. The most ideal situation for the Lions would have been to have picked up one of the top CBs in free agency. We need a solid veteran CB that can start right away and make an impact on the field. Drafting a CB will not fix our problem right away, as they would most likely not see the field immediately, and more often than not, a rookie CB takes at least a year or two to develop. I'm probably beating a dead horse here, and I know many of us have already discussed these exact points. But lately, I'm beginning to think that we may indeed see the Lions draft a CB early, and it may even happen with the 10th overall pick. We've already heard all of the points on why the Lions shouldn't draft a CB, so I guess what I'd like to do is present some reasons on why it might make sense.
1. We Have a New Staff in Place
One of the main reasons I've heard on why we shouldn't take a corner at #10 is that we've already drafted 4 CBs in the past 2 years. This is a valid point. Why should we draft another CB when we already have 4 young guys waiting to be developed? Well, we know that Schwartz and Co. had a certain profile set in mind for their corners. Gunther Cunningham is still currently on the Lions staff, so maybe that profile didn't entirely change, but what if Austin does have a different type of corner he's looking for? What if Austin doesn't like what he sees in guys like Greenwood, Green or Bentley, and he and Mayhew feel like they can get better value at that position with the 10th overall pick, or trade down for a solid corner prospect? I feel like this is something that should be considered.
2. There is No Guarantee Chris Houston Will Return Back to His Old Form
If you've paid any attention to Lions minicamp lately, you've probably taken a look at the injury list, and have seen some speculation on whether Houston will return back to his old form of being a solid #1 corner. Caldwell's comments on Houston shouldn't worry you too much, but it certainly doesn't make you feel any safer. If Houston can't get healthy, we immediately have a need for a starting CB. Developing a rookie 1st round CB with a lot of upside may not patch things up right away, but with the secondary coaching magic from Austin, maybe he can turn this CB group into one of the best in the NFL in a few years. If Houston doesn't return to his old form, the CB position immediately takes a huge hit. If you look at Houston's contract, it looks pretty similar to Pettigrew's. He's locked up until 2017, but there isn't a whole lot of guaranteed money on the back end of the contract. It's a possibility that if he doesn't improve, he could be gone in a couple years.
3. We Really Don't Know Where the Top CBs are on the Lions Draft Board
How many people wanted Darius Slay in the 2nd round last year? How many people thought that Darius Slay would get selected before his teammate Johnthan Banks? A lot of us may think that this year's group of CBs is a weak group, and none of them deserve to be selected at #10, but the reality is, we have no clue where these guys are on NFL teams' draft boards. If I were to tell everyone that Slay would have been selected by the Lions in the 2nd round a day before the draft, I probably would have been labeled as crazy. Slay was the 63rd ranked prospect on CBSSports going into the draft, and the 8th ranked CB. He was projected to go in the late 2nd-early 3rd round. Instead he was selected by the Lions with the 36th overall pick, and was the 5th CB off the board. Some didn't like the pick, but now everyone is a Darius Slay fan. If the Lions feel like Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard or even Kyle Fuller is a top 10 pick, then I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt after last year's success in the draft. Who is to say that Slay won't emerge as our #1 corner with Houston battling injuries, while one of those 3 rookies develops into a solid #2 for years to come. I've seen crazier things happen.
Everything I'm hearing lately just makes me think more and more that it's possible we'll see a guy like Gilbert or Dennard in a Lions jersey, whether it's with the #10 pick or later. But then again, this could just all be one big smokescreen. As a matter of fact, maybe this FanPost is a smokescreen ;).