Last year, the Lions did something amazing in the draft. They didn't draft a Wide Receiver in the first round. Instead, they went for Gosder Cherilus, which was a reach.
Despite that fact, he has been a welcome addition to the front five. This year, I have been looking at this team and the players it has and assessing it's needs and decided to look at some solutions that are outside of the current draft lines of thinking.
As it stands, the Lions are expected to select a Quarterback with the No. 1 overall selection. One look at the roster and it is easy to understand why. I started thinking, what if there was another option?
It is likely that a Quarterback will need some grooming time and will be given some time to develop. Another common line of thinking has the Lions selecting Alabama's Andre Smith. The third solution, which I have been a fan of, is trading down. It is not necessarily an option in the day of $60 million contracts for rookies however.
We all know it will take some time to rebuild this team from possibly the worst ever NFL franchise, but which method is the best one?
An idea I have been thinking about for quite some time is to fix one side of the ball first and then fix the other side of the ball. Meaning the Lions should do what it takes to create a quality offense then work on the defense or vice versa. This is close to what Atlanta did last year.
They picked a Quarterback and Left Tackle, then added a stud Running Back. The only piece missing is a quality Tight End. This year they likely will be looking for defense in the draft and the missing Tight End.
So I looked at the draft boards and the draft predictions and came up with this new Mock Draft.
No 1: Assuming you can't trade down you go with...Andre Smith OT Alabama.
Although it is not sure whether Backus can move inside, it is still worth the upgrade. Keven Smith is now the happiest man in the club house.
No. 20: This is my surprise twist on the draft. You need a guy with all the tools and Mark Sanchez and Matt Stafford are off the board. You take a reach here and select...Josh Freeman QB Kansas State.
I know this is considerable reach right now, but with the lack of QB talent early, I think his stock climbs. I also think there is a good possibility Minnesota picks him at No. 23 if you don't.
Taking a player from Minnesota is always a good option. Josh Freeman has the physical tools at 6'6" and 230 lbs. He also has the arm strength that Stafford does and is bigger, faster, and has managed to throw a good touchdown to interception ratio without a Moreno or Mohammed.
I understand he played in the Big 12 not the SEC, but I think that has little substance. Ryan played in the Big East and Flacco was in a different division.
No. 33: Although you need a Tight End still I don't think it's a good idea to reach. It's time to go after the best defensive player available. I am hoping that man is...Clint Sintim OLB Virginia
Clint Sintim is a great strong side prospect and will provide some much needed talent and size the line backing core.
No. 65: If he's still available...Darius Butler CB Connecticut
Darius Butler is an outstanding athlete and should be a starting NFL corner for years to come. I think he has the ability to provide you with some excitement in the punt return as well.
If he's off the board, then I'd look at Matt Shaughnessy, Nic Harris, or Darry Beckwith are possibilities.
No. 82: A senior whose draft stock has dropped considerably but may come back up some at the combine...Terrance Taylor DT Michigan
Terrance Taylor is a beast and in my opinion he will be a quality starter wherever he ends up. He is compact, powerful, and shows a great ability to scrape down the line. If he develops a slightly quicker burst off the snap he could be a real force.
No: 129 The Lions still need to bolster their defense and a good later round prospect is...Kevin Ellison SS USC
Ellison does not get the attention thanks to the star studded defensive unit he plays on but he has the size and talent to play the strong side at the NFL level.
No. 161: Quan Cosby WR Texas
The knock on Cosby is his age. He can catch the ball and return kicks. For a mid-round selection to give you even five good years, I think I'll take that. It could be Charles Rogers or Mike Williams right? I do not know how far Cosby will fall, if he is not here then you have to look at Tyrell Sutton RB Northwestern.
No. 180: Daniel Holtzclaw ILB Easern Michigan
A small school prospect, he needs to add a little bulk to play at the NFL level but has the talent. Should contribute on special teams.
No. 193: Ryan Mouton CB Hawaii
A quick and talented corner. He managed six tackles for loss, broke up eight passes, forced two fumbles and had an interception return for a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
His versatility should get him a roster spot. He should be more exciting returning kicks with Darius Butler than Aveion Cason and Brian Calhoun.
In Free Agency the Lions should after one of the big defensive line candidates, Julius Peppers or Terrel Suggs would be my choice and pick up a middle linebacker, Mike Petersen should be available. Releasing Leigh Bodden would mean you need Dunta Robinson or Nnamdi Asomugha.