The NFL draft is fast approaching and the Detroit Lions know what their needs are coming into the draft. Cornerback, O-Line and Running Back are the three positions the Lions need to fill holes in. I won’t talk about the O-Line as that is too difficult a position to judge and O-Line is based on chemistry more often than skill. So I will focus on Cornerback and Running Back.
The Lions should and most likely will draft a Cornerback with their first pick. And they do have options even with the 23rd pick. Granted, the best corner available, LSU’s Morris Claiborne, will be gone early, but the Lions still think either Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick or South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore will be available. For my money, I want Kirkpatrick with the Lions. Why? He played on a winning program at Alabama. He’s a physical corner who can move up and stop the run. His football instincts are excellent. And he has no fear. If Kirkpatrick is available, the Lions must take him.
Gilmore does bring assets tot the table as well. He brings size and speed to the corner position but his ball skills are questionable. Gilmore did play in the tough SEC conference, and fared well against great competition. He’s not a bad choice for the Lions if Kirkpatrick is gone, and Gilmore is still on the board.
The second round is interesting. The Lions could go after some O-Line help, which would be sensible. But with running back an issue, especially since no one knows about the health of Jahvid Best, the Lions may go for a back here. The one I like is LaMichael James out of Oregon. James isn’t the biggest back available and scouts fear that James may not withstand the physical nature of the NFL. Plus if Boise State’s Doug Martin is available, the Lions could easily go with him. But I like James for this reason. He’s a game breaker. His speed and ability to hit holes is something you just can’t teach in football. While James isn’t the next Barry Sanders, (no one is) he could very well be the perfect complement, to an offence that feature Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Teams would have to guard against a running back that possesses the ability to make plays and change games, which could draw defenders in, and open up the field for Megatron to do his thing.
Yes, GM Martin Mayhew and his staff have some difficult decisions to make over the next few days. But they also have some opportunities to significantly upgrade this football team. We shall see what course the Lions decide to set sail on.
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