With the 45th pick of the 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions (represented by yours truly) selected Oklahoma middle linebacker Curtis Lofton. Lofton fills a huge need the Lions have at MLB and is a player that easily could have been picked higher. I said earlier in the week that I would have preferred to pick Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo, but he was taken with the 40th pick. The fact that he was around that long was a surprise, so it would have taken a lot of luck for him to drop to the Lions’ second-round pick.
Getting back to Lofton, if he is actually picked by the Lions, then he would come in and likely start out his career playing outside linebacker. Rod Marinelli has said in the past that he would like to start off any linebacker drafted on the outside so he can gain experience and knowledge of the defense before eventually moving inside. For Lofton, his plan probably would be no different. He could join the Lions and play OLB before moving to the middle once he has the experience necessary to do so. After all, the MLB is like the quarterback of the defense, so having more experience is always a good thing.
To get an idea of what a player like Lofton brings to the table, here is SB Nation’s own Crimson and Cream Machine with his take on Detroit’s latest mock draft selection:
He led the team in tackles with 94 solo and 63 assisted. He also had 10 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions earning him All American status.
The glaring weakness for Lofton is simply lack of experience. He only started one season at Oklahoma and even though it was an amazing year he will still have plenty to learn.
Heading over to YouTube, the video below also gives us an idea of what kind of player Lofton is.
To continue to keep track of the latest picks in the SB Nation Mock Draft, head over to Mocking the Draft.