A Case For B.J. Raji To The Lions

Luke BrandeContributor IMarch 21, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 5:  B.J. Raji #90 and Brian Toal of the Boston College Eagles talk after giving up a field goal to the North Carolina Tar Heels during an Atlantic Coast Conference game on November 5, 2005 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina defeated Boston College 16-14.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Every mock draft in the world has either Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez or Aaron Curry going No. 1 overall to the Lions.

However, recently, a case for B.J. Raji to be drafted first overall has been a plausible case.

Matthew Stafford going first overall makes sense considering the best QB on the Lions roster is Daunte Culpepper. 

Culpepper however, showed some signs of promise considering the team he was playing for was the Lions, and new coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive-minded coach, so maybe it would make more sense for them to take a defensive player.

With that in mind, I begin to think of B.J. Raji.

B.J. Raji  is a massive, penetrating run-stuffer that would instantly upgrade any run defense.

The Lions recently traded Cory Redding which weakened their already weak line. B.J. Raji could help improve that from day one.

With the trade for Julian Peterson some have speculated that the intent of new Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz is to build his defense around a stellar linebacker crew, which would make Aaron Curry a better possibility as the first round pick. 

But a solid linebacking crew doesn't work when their aren't any lineman that can occupy blockers. 

B.J. Raji would almost always command a double team, helping Ernie Sims and Julian Peterson, who are both fast athletic linebackers, roam freely from sideline to sideline, and playing in the same division as Adrian Peterson almost makes it a necessity to grab a run-stuffer.

A look at Jim Schwartz' history as defensive coordinator in Tennessee also reveals a heightened focus on maintaining a solid amount of defensive tackles, which his strong defenses are usually based around.

Last year, he had three young DT's in Albert Haynesworth, Jason Jones, and Tony Brown.

With the loss of Cory Redding, Jim Schwartz' focus on DT's, and the rare abilities of B.J. Raji, everything may fall into place for the large Boston College DT to become the richest rookie, and first overall pick in the 2009 draft.