Plan of Attack for the 2013 NFL Draft – Detroit Lions
With the Draft just days away, it’s time to take a detailed look at each teams acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and work our way all the way down to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs and the first overall pick. *Page will be updated as more moves are made.
Team Needs: OT, DE, CB, WR, C, RB
Free Agent Losses: DE Cliff Avril, LB Justin Durant, OT Gosder Cherilus, CB Drayton Florence, DT Sammie Lee Hill, CB Kevin Barnes, DT Andre Fluellen, K Jason Hanson (retired)
Free Agent Acquisitions: RB Reggie Bush, S Glover Quin, CB Chris Houston (resigned), S Louis Delmas (resigned), LB DeAndre Levey (resigned), S Amari Spievey (resigned), K David Akers, DE Joason Jones, DT CJ Mosley, OT Corey Hilliard (resigned), DE Willie Young (resigned), G Dylan Gandy (resigned), LS Don Muhlbach (resigned), WR Kassim Osgood (resigned), WR Brian Robiskie (resigned), OT Jason Fox (resigned)
Potential Round 1 Targets: OT Luke Joeckel, OT Eric Fisher, OT Lane Johnson, DE Ziggy Ansah, DE/OLB Dion Jordan, DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, CB Dee Milliner
Potential Round 2 Targets: OT Terron Amrstead, OT Menelik Watson, OT Kyle Long, OT Justin Pugh, DE Damontre Moore, DE Bjoern Werner, DE Margus Hunt, DE Tank Carradine, CB Jamar Taylor, CB DJ Hayden, CB Blidi Wreh-wilson, CB Johnthan Banks, RB Eddie Lacy, WR DeAndre Hopkins, WR Robert Woods
Potential Round 3 Targets: CB Robert Alford, CB Darius Slay, CB BW Webb, CB Logan Ryan, DE Alex Okafor, DE Sam Montgomery, DE Corey Lemonier, OT David Bakhtiari, OT Jordan Mills, RB Gio Bernard, RB Andre Ellington, RB Le’Veon Bell, RB Jonathan Franklin, WR Markus Wheaton, WR Stedman Bailey, WR Terrance Williams, C/G Barrett Jones, C/G Travis Frederick, C/G Brian Schwenke
Plan of Attack: The Lions are sitting tight at pick 5 and will have a decision to make. Do they want to invest in a protector for Matt Stafford or do they want to bolster their pass rush? The Lions coached Ziggy Ansah at the Senior Bowl and know first hand what kind of potential he possesses. On the other hand, they’ve already invested a ton of money in Stafford and are ready to shove even more in him, so no matter how much they like Ansah they may feel it’s best to protect their investment. There is a chance that Joeckel or Fisher slides to them at 5, but the more likely option is that they end up with Lane Johnson. Johnson is a very athletic tackle who plays mean. He is far from a finished product and will only get better in the years to come. The Lions could always throw a curveball and go with Dee Milliner here, but it’ll come down to the pass rusher or offensive tackle in all likelihood.
In round 2 the Lions will look for their pass rusher if they got their offensive tackle in round 1. Names they’d love to see available would be Bjoern Werner, Tank Carradine, Margus Hunt, and Damontre Moore. Werner is the most likely to be gone at this point, so they’d probably go with Tank. Carradine is an instinctive pass rusher, who is quick off the snap and displays plenty of upper body strength. The biggest knock on him is that he is recovering from an ACL injury and teams will need to get a good medical report on him to feel comfortable enough taking him this high. Hunt is another intriguing option for the Lions if available. He is absolutely mammoth, at 6’8 and 275 pounds and is quite nimble on his feet for such a beast. He doesn’t have a ton of experience, but with the right coaching can become a top shelf pass rusher in the NFL. Any of these guys would help ease the loss of Cliff Avril. If the Lions landed Ansah in round 1, then they’d look for offensive tackle help in the early second round. They’d consider FSU’s Menelik Watson, Arkansas Pine-Bluff’s Terron Armstead, or Syracuse’s Justin Pugh. Pugh is the best of that bunch, and is a versatile guy who can play all five positions on the o-line.
In Round 3, the Lions could look for help at either corner or receiver. They added some pieces in their secondary this offseason but could still use more depth and youth at cornerback. Some third round guys they could look at would be Robert Alford, Darius Slay, Logan Ryan, or David Amerson. Ryan would be a nice choice. He is solid in coverage and a very willing tackler. Alford would be another solid pick, and he can also help out in the return game. The Lions find themselves with question marks at wide receiver heading into the 2013 season. Titus Young got the well deserved boot from the team, Ryan Broyles is coming back from another ACL injury, and Nate Burleson is getting up there in years. The Lions will need to add a young guy who can contribute in year one. Luckily, there is a ton of depth at wide receiver this year. The Lions could find speedy Markus Wheaton on the board. He’d be a nice vertical threat opposite Calvin Johnson. They may also like West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey. Bailey is a smooth route runner who can produce in the middle of the field. Other names they’d consider would be Oklahoma’s Kenny Stills, or Baylor’s Terrance Williams if he falls into round 3.