2012 Detroit Lions Mock Draft: Rounds 2-7 After Landing Riley Reiff
Reiff will step in from day one and compete for a starting spot at either right guard (for Stephen Peterman) or right tackle (for Gosder Cherilus) and will be expected to inherit the left tackle position once Jeff Backus retires.
The pick represents the first real investment in the offensive line since Martin Mayhew took over for Matt Millen and is a pick many Lions have been clamoring for for years.
Still, the Lions have major needs in the defensive backfield and, down the road, on the defensive line and in the linebacking corps. While the Lions have 21/22 starters returning in 2012, the lack of depth in Detroit showed at points last year and cap issues will only make that worse.
With Reiff already in the fold, here's a plan to fill those holes and help that depth in Rounds 2 through 7.
Second Round: Dwight "Bill" Bentley (CB Louisiana-Lafayette)
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We've already discussed the Lions' defensive backfield issues, but let's not overstate the problem.
For better or worse, the Lions like Chris Houston as their No. 1 corner and think Aaron Berry still has plenty of upside.
However, with Eric Wright leaving for a big payday with the Buccaneers, the Lions are looking for a No. 2 corner and a body to compete.
Bentley is an underrated small-school prospect who has solid size and good athleticism. He has all the tools to man up with receivers and could step right in to nickel-and-dime packages in Motown.
Third Round: Tyrone Crawford (DE Boise State)
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Without a doubt, defensive line play is key to Jim Schwartz's and Gunther Cunningham's scheme. In fact, it was a lack of pass rush at the end of 2011 that failed to get to quarterbacks like Flynn and Brees and let them tear about the Lions' pass D.
Kyle Vanden Bosch is getting old and Cliff Avril will be looking for a payday sooner rather than later, so the Lions cannot risk going into 2013 without a starting-caliber pass-rusher.
Crawford isn't an elite pass-rusher, but he's a talented end who can frustrate quarterbacks with his relentless play and can set the edge in the run game. The Lions wouldn't want to roll with him and Lawrence Jackson as starters, but it wouldn't kill them either.
Fourth Round: Leonard Johnson (CB Iowa State)
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By not getting a surefire bet in Round 1, the Lions can hedge their bets by getting another solid player in this deep cornerback class.
Johnson is a little smaller than ideal for a cornerback at just under 5'10" and 197 lbs. So for the Lions, he likely projects as a guy who plays mostly in subpackages. However, with Alphonso Smith likely out the door, Johnson would be a great replacement.
He's tough, physical and a willing tackler—all traits that the Lions look for in their cornerbacks. He also has ability as a special teams' returner and could conceivably take over for Stefan Logan, whose roster spot isn't as solidified as in years past.
Fifth Round: Ryan Broyles (WR Oklahoma)
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If it weren't for an season-ending injury his senior year, Broyles would've been in discussion at the end of the first round last night.
So, after filling a lot of holes in the first four rounds, it's time to take a chance on a bit of a luxury pick.
Do the Lions need another weapon? No.
Titus Young is expected to emerge as the Lions' No. 2 receiver in 2012 and Nate Burleson has plenty left in the tank. However, could Matt Stafford and Scott Linehan figure out how to use another top target?
Seventh Round: Case Keenum (QB Houston)
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When Drew Stanton left for the New York Jets (and then the Indianapolis Colts), the Lions committed to finding another developmental quarterback in 2012. While they may wait until undrafted free agency or even camp cuts, this draft is rife with late-round quarterback talent.
Keenum is maxed out physically and has as much injury history as anyone possibly could and still get drafted. Yet, when healthy, he was able to lead Houston to heights few people thought possible.
While he doesn't project as a long-term starter at the next level, Keenum should mature into a solid backup quarterback who's able to run the scout team and not kill a team when forced into a spot start.
Seventh Round: Michael Smith (RB Utah State)
The Lions want another body for their running back corps, but are looking for a player to potentially step in if Jahvid Best goes down again. It isn't just any running back; it needs to be a multidimensional player who can win individual battles in space.
Late in the draft, that isn't always easy to find, but the Lions get it here with a young man who wasn't even a starter on his small-school team. However, Smith is a phenomenal athlete and could mature into quite the weapon for the Lions.
Michael Schottey is an NFL Associate Editor for Bleacher Report and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He has professionally covered both the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, as well as NFL events like the scouting combine and the Senior Bowl.