Detroit is another one of those forlorn teams with a bright future in 2010. Rookies Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, and Louis Delmas looked spectacular all season long, when they were on the field.
Towards the end of the season, Stafford looked more and more like a franchise quarterback and a cornerstone on which to build a team. Bryant Johnson is looking like a bust, but Calvin Johnson is still strong.
The defense will more than likely be the targeted squad this draft season, with an additional emphasis on the line. The offensive line has its holes, as well, so expect the team to focus on the fundamentals of good football this offseason.
Biggest Needs: OG, WR, HB
Detroit's offensive line looked better this year, but injuries and overall lack of talent left some holes exposed. Now, to make matter worse, Manny Ramirez and Dylan Gandy are both slated to be free agents.
Even in an uncapped year, the front office may not have the pockets to resign both of them, which leaves Raiola at center and both guard positions wide open. I'm sure the team isn't willing to bank on Loper and Schuening to shore up the holes, so expect them to look at April's contestants for the answer.
Offensive guard probably isn't their most important need, so they will probably wait to utilize their second- or third-round pick for an offensive-line position. If they're patient, they might have a shot at Ole Miss' John Jerry or even Sergio Render of Virginia Tech. The team's experience with utilizing versatile linemen may also allow them to take a player like Ted Larson out of NC State and find him a starting position.
Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris are not the answer to the Lion's running woes. They're going to need a player with spark in order to breathe life into the offense. Morris is enough of a bruiser to keep consistency at a decent level, but a DeMarco Murray-type player could be exactly what they need.
Bryant Johnson is looking like another classic Detroit flop, but Calvin Johnson is at an all-time elite level and together with Pettigrew, they provide a dual threat of weapons for Stafford. In order to keep their franchise quarterback on a progressive path, though, the Lions are going to need more talent at the wide out position.
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