Well, it's that time of year again where I sit and wonder who the Lions will pick in this years NFL draft. Detroit has more needs than they can fill in one draft, but I think that defense must be top priority, since Detroit has had one of the worst defenses over the past few years.
First Overall—Aaron Curry, LB Wake Forrest
He Has all the physical and mental tools to be a dominating linebacker right now in the NFL. Sitting at 6'3" and 247 pounds, he is what Coach Jim Schwartz can use to build up Detroit's undersized defense.
Adding Curry makes the Lions' linebacker core a force to be reckoned with, since he would be playing between Ernie Sims and Julian Peterson. Not one mock draft that I have seen has Curry going to the Lions, but many experts say he is the best athlete in the draft. So I think the Lions take the best athlete available and worry about the "need" at quarterback later in this draft.
20th Overall—Peria Jerry, DT Mississippi
He is a big, solid defensive tackle. At 6'2" and about 300 pounds, he can put on a little more weight and still keep his speed, and I think the Lions' new workout programs will help him advance quickly.
Because both the starting DTs currently on the roster are over 33 years of age, Detroit needs to get younger on the line. I also haven't forgotten about the DT's taken last year, Fluellen and Cohen. Having three young guys learning the tricks of the trade from two productive veterans could help out a lot over the next few years as they develop.
33rd Overall - Josh Freeman, QB Kansas State
After all of the Stafford/Sanchez talk, everyone has left out this big man from Kansas State. 6'6" and 250 pounds, he is a Daunte Culpepper replica. I think watching Culpepper handle himself in games would help him out substantially.
He doesn't have the greatest of stats coming out of college, but he has a great arm, mobility, and durability. Also, taking a QB later in the draft makes it plausible that the Lions would keep him on the bench for the first couple years.
Picking Stafford first overall means that he must be a starter (by Lions' fans perspective), and as soon as the team loses three games fans will be protesting his starting status, even if it means turning him into the next Joey Harrington. By taking Freeman in the second round, I think it will take some of the pressure off him to be thrown in right away, and give him time to work with Scott Linehan and Culpepper.
By picking these three guys up on day one, the Lions show that they are committed to making the defense better, while also remembering that we do need someone at QB, eventually. For now, Culpepper is coming along just fine, and the two defensive picks help bring youth and talent to a desperate defense.