The Detroit Lions and their fans are salivating at the prospect of having the choice of Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy at the second overall pick in the draft if the Rams happen to choose a quarterback first overall.
This would be a mistake. Suh is the fan's choice, there's no doubt about it, and he'll likely turn into a hell of a player. But the fact is that there are a number of reasons NOT to draft Suh (or any other defensive lineman) with the second overall pick.
1. Corey Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch
The Lions made some solid moves in free agency. They signed a solid DE in Kyle Vanden Bosch who should improve the pass rush.
What they've also done is trade for DT Corey Williams, who struggled in the Browns 3-4 defense the last couple years.
What Lions fans are overlooking is the fact that Williams was a beast for the Packers in their 4-3 defense before he was traded to Cleveland.
There's a good chance that he'll return to form in Detroit.
Oh, there's also the fact that Detroit has now dumped a pretty sizeable chunk of salary into their defensive line.
The way top picks are getting paid these days, there's no way any responsible team would invest that much more money in an already expensive defensive front.
2. Sammie Lee Hill
Corey Williams is going to start. The Lions wouldn't have picked him up if they wanted him to ride the pine—this means that if they draft Suh, then Sammie Hill would have to sit.
Sammie Hill was drafted as a project and he was a very raw player with some top notch physical attributes.
Hill looked good last year, though. In fact, he exceeded just about everyone's expectations.
Why draft Ndamukong Suh when you already have two solid defensive tackles?
3. Jeff Backus
While the Lions have been consistent in their defense of left tackle Jeff Backus, there's no denying the fact that he's mediocre at best.
The Lions passed up on Michael Oher last year in favor of tight end Brandon Pettigrew. I can't possibly see them passing up another franchise left tackle, especially for a defensive tackle they don't really need.
By drafting Russell Okung, or by trading down to pick up another left tackle, the Lions can bump Backus to the guard position, which will essentially kill two birds with one stone, filling two needs on the offensive line.
Matthew Stafford was a number one overall pick, and he's now the face of the franchise, for better or worse.
If the Lions want to be winners, and if they want Stafford to succeed in the NFL, they need to keep him off his back.
The only way to accomplish this is to draft a franchise left tackle.
This is not THAT deep of an offensive line class, and the Lions are in dire need of upgraded pass protection.
Drafting Suh would condemn Matthew Stafford to another sack-ridden season.
5. Suh's not the best player available
I can't say that I agree with the strategy, but every year the Lions claim that they always choose the best player available.
At the second overall pick, Ndamukong Suh is NOT the best player available.
That honor would belong to Tennessee safety Eric Berry.
Berry has been touted as the second coming of Ed Reed. He's got tremendous football smarts and is an athletic freak of nature.
Safety is not a position typically drafted this early in the draft, but neither is defensive tackle.
Both positions are big needs for the Lions, and if they follow their usual draft philosophy, they would take Berry over Suh.
Keep in mind, I would be against this pick as well, as I feel Russell Okung is the best possible pick for the Lions.