SB Nation's first post-season 2013 NFL mock draft last week had the Detroit Lions going with Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the fifth overall pick. This is certainly a real possibility for a Lions team desperately in need of help in the secondary, but I think it's more realistic that they will pick a defensive end in the first round. SB Nation's latest NFL mock draft reflects this notion and has the Lions selecting Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.
The thinking behind this pick is that the Lions need an "impact pass rusher." Also, Milliner isn't necessarily worth the fifth overall pick. With Werner, who is considered one of the top defensive players in the draft, available at No. 5, the Lions could fill a need at defensive end and get a playmaker. In other words, they could add somebody who can make game-changing plays on the defensive side of the ball.
If you look at the Lions' roster right now, you might not think they actually need help at defensive end. However, Cliff Avril is unlikely to be re-signed, and Lawrence Jackson is an unrestricted free agent as well. Willie Young, a restricted free agent, should be brought back, but Kyle Vanden Bosch's time in the NFL is probably starting to run out. Defensive end was once viewed as one of the positions with the most depth on the roster, but clearly that's no longer the case.
As for which defensive end the Lions should actually take if they do go in that direction, this will be debated quite a bit over the coming months. In addition to Werner, guys like Texas A&M's Damontre Moore, Oregon's Dion Jordan, BYU's Ziggy Ansah and LSU's Barkevious Mingo all could be taken in the top half of the first round. There are plenty of solid defensive ends out there, and that's good news for the Lions.
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