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2008 NFL Draft: Lions Add Pair of Defenders in Late Third-Round

After drafting running back Kevin Smith to open the third-round, Detroit still had to use the pick they acquired from Cleveland in the Shaun Rogers deal. On top of that, the Lions would also trade back into the third-round to go on the clock again at pick #92 by trading this year's fourth-round pick and next year's as well. Movement isn't unusual for the Lions around this time of the draft, and this year it allowed Detroit to add much-needed depth to their defensive line.

Cliffavril_mediumWith the 87th pick, the Lions selected Florida State defensive tackle Andre Fluellen. This is the pick Detroit got for trading Shaun Rogers, so it's fitting that a defensive tackle was chosen with it. Since Rogers is gone, the Lions did need to add another DT to truly have a good amount of depth at that position, and drafting Fluellen did just that. He should be able to come in and back up Cory Redding and Shaun Cody. I don't expect him to beat out Cody, but we won't truly know until he gets in pads and onto a football field.

Five picks later, the Lions again went on the clock and this time drafted Purdue defensive end/outside linebacker Cliff Avril. Avril is an unusual DE in the sense that he is so athletic. Because of that, he is viewed as a tweener and could end up playing outside linebacker. Avril runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and is sort of undersized to be a DE, so a switch to OLB for him would really be expected at this point. If he puts on some weight then he could probably stay on the defensive line, but unless that happens, expect to see him standing up as a LB.

Both of these picks made complete sense as Detroit had needs at both positions. Fluellen adds depth to a defensive tackle position that needed it after Shaun Roger's departure, and Avril adds depth to both the defensive end and outside linebacker positions. Since he is a tweener, the coaching staff can decide what they want to do with him and move on from there.

Overall, the Lions had a very good third-round to get day two of the draft started.