Why an Offensive Pick Can Help The Detroit Lion's Dreadful Defense

Dave MContributor IIJanuary 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 1:  Idaho guard Mike Iupati #77 leads block against USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 1, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. The Vandals were defeated by the top-ranked Trojans won 38-10. (Photo by Kevin Terrell/Getty Images)
Kevin Terrell/Getty Images

Look, I know most Lions fans want all defense in the first few rounds of this draft, and it would be totally warranted. The Lions defense has been historically bad the last two years and after probably taking a defensive tackle in the first round, many want help for the secondary in round two.

However, at the risk of sounding like another Lions "slappy" who only wants offensive picks, hear me out as to why one player in particular would kill two birds with one stone.

Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho. He's 6-5 and 330 pounds with feet like Mikhail Baryshnikov (sort of). Some think he might go in the first round, but if he's still there in the beginning of round two he's worth consideration.

The Lions have recently said that they think Jeff Backus should be considered one of the elite left tackles in the game. Before some of you blow your gasket at this statement, just know that it means that Backus isn't going anywhere. I don't like it anymore than you do but please take a second and let this sink in.


Now to me this says that many of the sacks we as fans attribute to "Sackus" are really the fault of the players around him, most notably the LG, which has been a revolving door of players since Backus started in Detroit.

Drafting a guard like Iupati, a former native of American Samoa and someone who is light years better (as far as potential goes) than anyone the Lions have started for years, would once and for all tell us whether Backus is truly as good as the Lions brass think he is. It would also help to protect the Lions most important investment, Matthew Stafford, and help open running lanes which is the real reason Iupati helps the defense.

Offenses that stay on the field for long periods of time give their defenses time to rest, game plan, make corrections to poor play, etc. It's no secret the Lions running game was less than stellar this season, and it is something that Jim Schwartz has constantly said he wants to improve. What better way to do that then put a massive, road grading type guard on the offensive line?

In the third the Lions can still get a corner like Kyle Wilson from Boise State who could develop into a #1 guy at some point and who has some fantastic return skills.

Again, it goes against what a lot of fans want, but if they refuse to upgrade the left tackle position, they might as well give Backus the help they think he's been missing once and for all.

And I can honestly say I could handle the Lions giving up a few extra points every game for another year or two if it means I never, EVER, have to see Daunte Culpepper (or someone of his talent level) start for this team again... wouldn't you?