|The Lions could have grabbed cornerback/returner Jayron Hosley in the third round
Since it’s the off-season and there’s not much to talk about regarding Michigan right now, I thought I would share my thoughts on my second favorite football team, the Detroit Lions. I’m more of a college football fan, but I still catch a Lions game whenever possible and have been rooting for the guys in Honolulu Blue almost as long as the Maize and Blue.
1st round: Pick #23
Who they did pick: Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff
Who they should have picked: Reiff. I generally think teams should pick the best player on the board and figure out how to make them fit. Reiff was a borderline top ten pick and slipped to #23 because teams overvalued skill players and defensive ends. The Lions got lucky here since protecting Matt Stafford is paramount to their success.
2nd round: Pick #54
Who they did pick: Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles
Who they should have picked: Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming. While Fleming wasn’t the best overall prospect available, he would have addressed a serious deficiency at cornerback. Detroit’s secondary was abused against New Orleans in the playoffs, and playing Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers at least twice a year, you can never have too many cornerbacks. Fleming is also good in run support. Broyles is coming off of a knee injury and the Lions had a good receiving corps already.
3rd round: Pick #85
Who they did pick: Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley
Who they should have picked: Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley. Grabbing Fleming in the previous round would have been a good idea, and getting Hosley one round later would have given the Lions some insurance. I would pick Hosley over Bentley, anyway, but this would give the Lions three decent corners and Hosley is a potential big-play guy to put in the slot. This is a bit of a luxury pick for a good team without many serious deficiencies.
4th round: Pick #125
Who they did pick: Oklahoma outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis
Who they should have picked: Penn State defensive end Jack Crawford. Crawford is a big body who could be a developmental pick to take over for Kyle Vanden Bosch, who is getting up there in age. The way things are shaping up, Crawford could develop and the Lions might be able to use a high pick on a defensive end in 2013, when they might need more immediate help.
5th round: Pick #138
Who they did pick: Temple outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead
Who they should have picked: Florida State offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders. Sanders is one of the best prospects still available, and for a team that likes to spread it out, his pass blocking would potentially be helpful as a backup offensive lineman or a developmental prospect to take over one of the tackle positions.
6th round: Pick #196
Who they did pick: New Mexico State safety Jonte Green
Who they should have picked: Boise State defensive tackle Billy Winn. The Lions have pretty good depth at defensive tackle, but again, Winn is one of the better prospects available. He also has the speed to play defensive end in some packages, which would be a helpful skill.
7th round: Pick #223
Who they did pick: Oklahoma outside linebacker Travis Lewis
Who they should have picked: Lewis. This was a good pick. Lewis was a four year starter at Oklahoma, and while he probably won’t be a frequent starter in the NFL, he’s good enough to help on special teams and land a job as a backup linebacker.