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Detroit Lions 2013 draft needs

Now that Cliff Avril has departed for Seattle, the Detroit Lions have a pressing need at defensive end.

Now that Cliff Avril has departed for Seattle, the Detroit Lions have a pressing need at defensive end.

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.

Defensive end

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.

Offensive line

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.

Speedster

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.

Cornerback

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.

Tight end

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.

Safety

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.

Returner

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.

Specialists

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?

Quarterback

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.

 

87 comments
robertj72
robertj72

Jwoude...NE is interested they will give you there 3rd and 4th via NYJs for your 3.3

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

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.

bp.
bp.

I did not know Will Smith passed on Django.  But I am glad he did.

Reggie/Agnew 2016
Reggie/Agnew 2016 moderator

Get your NFCS here! NFCS for sale! Anybody wanna take over the NFCS here!

robertj72
robertj72

LaC, I'd still give KC both 3.15 and 3.20 for Branden Albert!

natesweet
natesweet moderator

I gotta go find springtime shenanigans. Talk to yous later.

robertj72
robertj72

If Detroit needs a speed guy an a returner Then Patterson should be high on their target list.

LaCW
LaCW

Word on the street is Bears are trading up top 10 to get Te'o

Childerz...
Childerz...

Niemerg... you still around? Didn't you just build a house?? What type of a process is it?? 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

@robertj72 

I think they take Patterson and Te'o with there first round picks.

niemerg1
niemerg1

@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?

 ЯD
ЯD

@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.

bp.
bp.

@Preparation_A @___bp___ Yep.  I don't even hat Smith.  He's done some good things.  But he is more "summer blockbuster."  Too... cheesy?

LaCW
LaCW

@Nonstopdrivel @LaCWrestler [email protected]


Childerz...
Childerz...

@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.

Childerz...
Childerz...

@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. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

@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 . 

niemerg1
niemerg1

@Childerz.. @niemerg1 we ended about 10,000 above our original estimate. but that just to our final estimate. we haven't started building anything so who knows how much it will be