Detroit Lions 2013 draft needs
- Updated: April 25, 2013
After plunging from a 10-6 season and a Wild Card berth in 2011 to a 4-12 record last year and the fifth-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions are facing a laundry list of needs. Fortunately, general manager Martin Mayhew has already made an array of moves to shore up this squad, and other than at defensive end, most of the needs are not dire. This affords Mayhew the luxury of flexibility with most of his picks.
Following are some positions Detroit could be looking to fill this weekend, arranged in order of importance.
After losing Cliff Avril to the Seattle Seahawks and parting ways with the underachieving Kyle Vanden Bosch, Detroit was faced with two voids at starting defensive end. They filled one of those voids in free agency with hybrid DE/DT Jason Jones.
They still need the big pass-rush threat, which they should be able to pick up in Round 1 or 2. If not, they will have to resort to free agents like Dwight Freeney, who has expressed interest, Israel Idonije, or Lawrence Jackson.
The Indianapolis Colts lured away Gosder Cherilus with a lucrative contract, and left tackle Jeff Backus retired. Still unknown is what position last year’s first-round pick, Riley Reiff, will play in 2013. He has experience at left tackle but is also athletic enough to play guard. Assuming one of them is the best player available, either Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson could be better a option at left tackle, allowing Detroit to sliding Reiff to right tackle or guard. Alternatively, Detroit could choose tackle Menelik Watson, guard Larry Warford, or guard/tackle Kyle Long in the second round.
Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles are good slot receivers, but they aren’t deep threats and both are recovering from injury. They can play outside if necessary, but that is not the ideal solution. Detroit needs speed. They have brought several receivers in for visits, including Cordarelle Patterson, Tavon Austin, Robert Woods and Justin Hunter. After the Titus Young debacle, it’s good to see them performing their due diligence. Mayhew could pull the trigger on a receiver in the second round or even surprise everyone and trade back up into the first round.
Although they recently re-signed Chris Houston and took three cornerbacks in the 2012 draft, Detroit should still take a look at possibilities. Bill Bentley and Chris Greenwood have struggled with injury, while Jonte Green has had his growing pains. Taking Dee Milliner with the fifth pick woud give Detroit a really good young secondary for the longterm. They might also use the 36th or 67th pick on one David Amerson, whom they brought in for a visit, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant, Jamar Taylor, D.J. Hayden, Robert Alford, or Logan Ryan.
Both Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are unrestricted free agents in 2014, so Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz fall to pick 36, don’t be surprised if Mayhew takes the plunge. Having a player like this in the fold could give him the luxury of cutting or trading Scheffler to free up cap room and nab Freeney or Idonije.
With Louis Delmas’s contract hit rising to $6 or $8 million in 2014, it wouldn’t hurt to have another talented safety waiting in the wings.
Reggie Bush and Mike Thomas can return punts, and Joique Bell can return kickoffs. However, if there is a WR/CB who has speed and can return kicks, Detroit should target him in Rounds 4, 5, or 6.
Longtime kicker Jason Hanson has retired, and uncertain quantities David Akers and Havard Rugland have been signed to compete for his position. Detroit might conceivably look to fill the kicker or punter spots cheaply in the fifth or sixth rounds. Is there a Blair Walsh in this year’s draft?
Kellen Moore is a project with a weak arm, and Shaun Hill is an unrestricted free agent in 2014. A young quarterback might still be on the board in Rounds 3 or late Round 4 and be worth a flyer if he is the best player available. This would free up more cap room for 2014.
NFL Draft insider Tony Pauline reports there's "still a good chance" the Lions trade into the Raiders' spot at No. 3, and the Cardinals have "evidently entered the mix" as both clubs pursue Oklahoma LT Lane Johnson.
@Preparation_A It snowed 2 inches here last night, fuck you and your nice weather!
@jwoude23 Bear Down THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS
@BearsSaveLives Raiders are hoping Fisher and Joeckel go 1 and 2.
I'm watching that movie tonight.
@reggiesnodeuce Do they count as football teams?
@jwoude23 Bear Down LKP wants to know if he can buy it for another preseason super bowl victory?
@jwoude23 Bear Down They should move up to 3.
@robertj72 Most players on the Lions' list are definitely high.
I think they take Patterson and Te'o with there first round picks.
You Packer guys sure know how to make funny jokes.
@LaCWrestler Then the Vikings will just have to trade up to 9.
@LaCWrestler I forgot your ymail address.
@LaCWrestler I heard they were trading down to get Cutler more packs of cigarettes
Nope, Matt Barkley
@Childerz.. still waiting on them to break ground...we got about 6 inches of rain in the past week...what exactly do you want to know?
a pug one,.
@jwoude23 Bear Down 'Twill start in a few moments. Lunch lasted longer than I anticipated. Nate is going to be taking over one of the divisions, apparently.
@niemerg1 well we're just starting the floor plans and all that shit .... basically how close to an original budget can you stay... and is there a lot of flexibility on meeting that budget I.e moving stuff down the road to be finished doing stuff yourself etc etc.
@reggiesnodeuce only way i'd do that is if the exit to the back door was a wood chipper that the lil fuckers would run through to try and get outside.
Yeah, he's gonna trade back at least 18 times in that round!
@niemerg1 good point.... haha we're just debating between building or buying.... but the houses were looking at buying we may as well just build .