Detroit Lions 2012 NFL Draft: Response to 1st-Round Pick OT Riley Reiff (Iowa)
The wait is over.
And to be honest, the draft fell almost perfectly for the Detroit Lions. With Cordy Glenn, Riley Reiff and David DeCastro available with the 23rd overall pick in Round 1, the Lions really needed two picks. However, they made their decision and took the offensive tackle from Iowa, Riley Reiff.
Reiff was the second-best offensive tackle in this draft, and he should be a solid starter for the Lions at left tackle sometime in his career. He may have short arms, but he is athletic, has very good fundamentals and is capable in the run game and as a pass protector.
You could make the argument that David DeCastro would be a better player for the Lions, and I do think that he is a better prospect. However, guard is a deep in this draft, and players like Brandon Brooks, Amini Silatolu and even Wayne Tribue will all be available later. Also, getting a potential left tackle is a big deal for a team that passes as much as the Lions, so it would be a very hard man to criticize our front office for this selection.
The question is now when Reiff will start.
You would assume that he will be competing with Gosder Cherilus in training camp to start at the right tackle position and possibly replace Jeff Backus at left tackle as early as the end of the 2012 season if the old pro sees a drastic drop in performance.
It is possible that Cherilus could play right guard instead of Stephen Peterman, if Reiff unseats him.
Although Cherilus would be very tall for a guard, he is a massive man with strength, and on any day, he can hold his own. However, I would wager that he is better than Peterman and younger to boot.
All in all, the selection of Reiff makes this a great day for the Detroit Lions. He can fill a real need at left tackle in the future and on talent probably should have been drafted higher.
Pick Grade: A
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