Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Detroit's options at No. 5
By Tim Kavanagh
One of the flex points of the Top 10 of this year's NFL Draft is at No. 5 overall, where the Detroit Lions could go a number of ways, setting off the proverbial dominoes based upon who they do (and more importantly, do not) pick. So what are their options?
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes that the timeline of the offseason will help guide us towards an answer: the Lions must make decisions on their own impending free agents -- including six starters on defense -- prior to signing anyone in the open market. And about a month later, that's when the draft takes place. So some of the holes will have been filled by then.
At this point, the top options for Detroit appear to be a CB such as Alabama's Dee Milliner, an OT such as Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, or a pass-rusher such as Georgia's Jarvis Jones, A&M's Damontre Moore or Florida St.'s Bjoern Werner. Milliner, Joeckel and Werner were off the board for Detroit in Todd McShay's latest mock draft, so he sent Oregon DE Dion Jordan to the Motor City. In Mel Kiper Jr's vision of the draft, Milliner, Joeckel and Moore were taken, so the pick was Jones:
Mel Kiper Jr.Mock Draft V2.0
"Detroit cut veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch to clear more cap space. Jones isn't the pure 4-3 defensive end to fill that void, but he'll certainly upgrade the pass rush. No, he's not a perfect fit in the current system, but Gunther Cunningham will be thrilled to scheme with Jones in mind. Roll the tape, and regardless of the how teams tried to stop Jones, you see them fail. He led the nation in sacks even though he was a blocking target, used great leverage to hold up as a run defender and in every case, was simply relentless. Sure, Detroit could also use Milliner if available, but a great pass defense starts with pressure."
Todd McShayMock Draft V2.0
"Cornerback is the Lions' biggest need, but with Milliner off the board the defensive line becomes the focus. With Kyle Vanden Bosch having been released and LDE Cliff Avril an unrestricted free agent, Detroit has a need at end. There is simply too much young talent at defensive tackle to let things deteriorate at end. Jordan is an underrated talent with the length and athleticism to develop into an impact starter in NFL, and he's shown the versatility to play multiple roles along the front seven."