Make the Right Move Detroit: Take the Lineman

John VetschContributor IApril 16, 2009

In the words of William Wallace: "Hold!... Hold!!... Hold!!!"

If you do not have a line, you can not win.

The 2009 NFL draft is less than 10 days out and teams are in the final stages of draft preparation.

The Detroit Lions have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and we should expect them to make their decision and have their player under contract come draft day.

Who will it be? Who should it be?

The 2008 Lions were one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL and can only upgrade with whomever they pick.

Their best option might be to trade down and get a few more picks, but like the Dolphins last year, they might not find a taker. In that case, they have to make a pick.

Lions fans did not have a lot to be excited about all season going 0-16 and all and really need to hit on this pick.

Usually, new regimes mean new quarterbacks. But can they really take a QB? Both Georgia QB Matt Stafford and USC's Mark Sanchez have flaws and neither has proved that they can help this team right now or be the franchise saving QB of the future. 

If you want to improve your team, you have to start with the lines and this point is only emphasized when you are looking at a team that has given up 50 sacks three straight years.

Baylor OT Jason Smith is a converted tight-end who is a great athlete and is extremely quick on his feet. He will be able to step in and start from day 1 at LT and finally solidify an O-line that gave up 52 sacks in 2008. 

Smith's strength is his pass blocking ability, but he also brings a mean streak in the running game which new head coach Jim Schwartz will be looking for as he will pound the ball. 

It all starts up front. Build the lines and the rest will follow. Paying $40 million to a QB who will be laying on his back staring at the Ford Field ceiling is not going to help you.

The Lions just can't afford to miss on this pick as they can no longer use the Matt Millen excuse. Take the sure bet Detroit. Take the best lineman in the draft. Take Jason Smith.

(photo from SportingLink)