Monday, February 25, 2013
Some DE options for Detroit
By Tim Kavanagh
Whether or not the Detroit Lions are able to lure impending free agent DE Cliff Avril back into the mix with a multi-year contract, it's expected that they'll be looking to make some additions to their defensive line rotation in other ways as well. Fortunately, this year's draft class features a number of defensive linemen that might be a good fit for Jim Schwartz's team at No. 5 overall.
There are two, in particular, that may be the selection when it's their turn this April: BYU's Ziggy Ansah and Florida St.'s Bjoern Werner.
"I just think he has tremendous upside," Lions GM Martin Mayhew said of Ansah, per the Detroit News. "What this guy will be able to do in three or four years; you get a guy like that and the sky's the limit. He's exciting."
Mayhew's remarks are the flip side to something that has been raised as a concern about Ansah: he only began playing football during his junior year at BYU. As for Werner, Mayhew quipped, "[He's] a very talented guy who we think a lot of."
Ansah is a more raw physical athlete, while Werner is more of a polished competitor that can likely step in and be a three-down DE as a rookie. For the Lions (and the other clubs in the Top 10 considering a DE), it may come down to the debate over upside vs. current productivity.