Detroit Lions 2013 Draft Updates: Latest News, Trade Rumors and Predictions

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IApril 8, 2013

Detroit Lions 2013 Draft Updates: Latest News, Trade Rumors and Predictions

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    The Detroit Lions are going back to the drawing board during the 2013 NFL draft after a disastrous 2012 season. 

    A 10-win playoff team the previous year, the Lions dropped by six wins to just 4-12 in 2012—which resulted in the securement of a top-five pick in this month's draft.

    Detroit will now look back to the draft to help rebound. 

    In the following slides, we'll provide a one-stop shop for all the Lions news, reports and rumors regarding the 2013 NFL draft. The tracker will update consistently over the next three weeks as the draft approaches, so stick here for everything you'll need. 

Latest News, Rumors and Reports

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    April 23: The Lions are one of the teams mentioned by ESPN's Adam Schefter who have "made calls" about moving down in the first round. 

    April 21: Chris Mortensen is under the opinion that the Lions will take BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah at No. 5 overall if Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher aren't available. 

    April 18: Jason La Canfora continues to report that guards Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are in play for the Lions if they stay at No. 5 overall. Both players are "clean," one general manager told La Canfora.

    April 18: According to Jason La Canfora, the Lions "would be willing to fall all the way back into the 20s," if it meant picking up more draft capital later on. 

    April 18: According to Anwar Richardson, the Lions hosted both Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan and Mississippi State cornerback Darius Slay.

    April 18: Pro Football Talk reports that West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin will make a pre-draft visit to Detroit. Would the Lions consider taking him at No. 5 overall?

    April 18: Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press reports that the Lions hosted Michigan State defensive end William Gholston and will also have UNC offensive tackle Brennan Williams in town for a visit. 

    April 14: Virginia Tech offensive lineman Vinston Painter has a visit lined up with the Detroit Lions, among others, reports Tony Pauline

    April 9: Tim Twentyman of the Lions official website reports that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce and running back Mike Cox visited Detroit Tuesday.

    April 9: Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Alabama guard Chance Warmack had an "impressive" visit with the Lions, and is in play at No. 5 overall. 

    April 9: According to Tim Twentyman, the Lions hosted Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner on Monday.

    April 8: According to the Detroit Lions' official website, Alabama guard Chance Warmack made an official visit to the Lions Monday.

    April 3: Chris Mortensen of ESPN expects the Lions to draft either the top defensive end or offensive tackle on the board at No. 5 overall. 

    March 22: Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press considers Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson as a dark-horse candidate to be the Lions' pick at No. 5 overall. 

    According to Draft Ace, the following players have either visited or will visit the Lions: 

    RB Onterrio McCaleb, Auburn
    WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
    WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
    WR Robert Woods, USC
    WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
    TE Michael Williams, Alabama
    TE Travis Kelce, Cincinnati
    OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
    OT Reid Fragel, Ohio State
    OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
    C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
    DE William Gholston, Michigan State
    LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
    LB Dion Jordan, Oregon
    CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
    CB David Amerson, N.C. State
    P Cody Davis, Texas Tech
    P Sam Martin, Appalachian State

Latest Mock Drafts

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    ESPN (Mel Kiper Jr., 4/4): CB Dee Milliner, Alabama

    The Lions have a need at cornerback, and Milliner has long been the consensus No. 1 player at the position. But you get the feeling that cornerback is further down the priority list.

    ESPN (Todd McShay, 4/10): T Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

    Too good to be true? Fisher is a Michigan kid, born and raised, who fits an obvious need and is good value. It would be a hard pick to knock. 

    Sports Illustrated (Don Banks, 4/5): T Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

    Fisher would be an immediate starter at left tackle, where the Lions don't currently have obvious answer.

    National Football Post (Russ Lande, 4/3): DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State

    If offensive tackle isn't the route Detroit wants to go, defensive end is the next most likely. Werner has been a common name in the top 10. 

    CBS Sports (Rob Rang, 4/2): T Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

    Fisher has quickly become the growing consensus for Detroit.

Latest Trade Rumors

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    April 23: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Lions are one of five teams who have made calls about moving down in the first round. Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami and Buffalo are also included. 

    April 21: ESPN's Chris Mortensen believes the Lions will attempt to trade down from No. 5 overall if Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher are no longer on the board.

    April 18: Jason La Canfora reports—via sources—that the Lions are "willing" to trade down from No. 5 overall, possibly into the 20s. The goal, according to La Canfora? To pick up "value," likely in the form of additional draft capital. All along, talent evaluators have said that there isn't much difference in picking at the top or bottom of this draft. In a uniquely talent-level first round, the theory here remains that the Lions could fall back, secure a few extra picks and still get a player of similar skill in the 20s. 

Options Galore at No. 5

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    With no need at the quarterback position, the Lions have the uncommon flexibility to go a number of different routes at No. 5 overall. 

    Offensive tackle, with Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson as potential options, remains one very real route. Defensive end is another. Florida State's Bjoern Werner and Oregon's Dion Jordan are common names in the top 10, and BYU's Ezekiel Ansah is a tantalizing prospect who could be too much for Detroit to pass on. 

    Even if the board doesn't fall exactly to schedule and no tackle or defensive end is worth taking, the Lions can roll the dice and take Alabama's Dee Milliner, the consensus top cornerback. 

    In most cases involving top-five teams, a quarterback is play for the first-round pick. Not in Detroit with young Matthew Stafford entrenched. Without much doubt, the Lions have the most flexibility of any team picking in the top five.