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Who Will They Draft?

With the draft around 24 hours away, it appears as though predicting who the Lions will select with the 15th pick won't be a very tough task.  As of right now, Detroit reportedly is set to draft a defensive player.  To narrow the list of potential picks down even more, barring something unusual, the Lions will not be drafting a cornerback either.  Taking the Lions' needs into account, those stipulations leave either a defensive end or a middle linebacker as Detroit's first-round pick.

Ideally, Derrick Harvey would fall to the 15th pick and the Lions would draft him.  Rod Marinelli likes Harvey quite a bit as he is an edge pass-rusher.  That is a big hole on the defensive line right now, and Marinelli believes that Harvey is the man to fill.  Unfortunately for Detroit, though, Harvey will likely end up being drafted before the Lions even have a shot at him.  At worst, Harvey will go to the Carolina Panthers at pick #13 as defensive end Mike Rucker just retired, creating a need for someone like Harvey.

Assuming Harvey is gone (if he's not, that'll be who the Lions pick), Detroit will set its sights on Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo next.  Mayo is a someone that could come in as an outside linebacker to start his career, and then once he is ready and has a grasp of the defense, could switch inside to become Detroit's middle linebacker.  Picking Mayo makes perfect sense if Harvey is off the board, and since that is likely going to be the case, I fully expect Mayo will be a Lion after tomorrow.

If for some reason Jerod Mayo was picked before the Lions went on the clock, and Harvey was also gone, then that scenario really leaves Detroit in a bad position.  The Lions would have to draft a running back, offensive tackle, or a cornerback in that situation, and I really don't have as much faith in them making a good selection as there are more bad picks that could happen.  I don't think this will be a problem since Mayo should still be around, but if he's gone then I expect Detroit to waste their first-rounder on a running back like Jonathan Stewart.  That pick would totally suck, but hey, this is the Lions we're talking about.

The only other wild card that could be taken into account for the Lions is the possibility of them trading out of the 15th pick.  If Marinelli and company wanted to draft Derrick Harvey that badly, then the Lions could trade up to the 11th or 12 pick to move ahead of Carolina.  Both Buffalo and Denver appear to be willing to move down, so the only question that would come out of that is how much Detroit would have to give up.  Should it be something like a third-round pick, then I'd hope Detroit says no and just goes with Mayo.  Why?  Well, with all of the needs the Lions have to fill in the draft, every pick in the first three rounds is important, so they should be trying to get more not less.

In the end, the way I see it is that "Plan A" is to draft Derrick Harvey.  "Plan B," in my opinion, is Jerod Mayo.  After that, however, your guess is as good as mine since it shouldn't come to a "Plan C" as Mayo likely will be there at pick #15.  As far as my feelings toward the aforementioned options, I would love to see Derrick Harvey end up in Detroit, but realistically speaking, my money would be on Jerod Mayo instead.