2011 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting the Detroit Lions

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting the Detroit Lions
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
LSU All-American cornerback Patrick Peterson could be the future playmaker the Detroit Lions need to solidify their defensive backfield.

For many of the lifelong pride-faithful that call themselves Detroit Lions fans, there is an annual event known among us as “The Detroit Lions Super Bowl”—the NFL Draft.

Coming off the most prolific playoff era in Detroit Lions football history during the 1990s, the club would hire a former Oakland Raider and broadcast announcer to pilot a once-proud, four-time NFL championship team to the deepest depths of failure the franchise has ever known. 

The addition of black to the Honolulu Blue and Silver was the kiss of death, led by the grim reaper himself, him whose name is Ichabod and shall not be spoken or repeated by the faithful.

Generally speaking, the Detroit Lions were a team of complete ineptitude during the decade of the 2000s.  The former general manager displayed zero acumen in his ability to properly identify and develop talent from the annual draft selection process.

The dearth of talent assembled throughout that era left the team bereft of a single victory during the 2008 campaign, and a meager handful of wins during the past two seasons.

Every offseason, Detroit Lions fans immerse themselves—well, not all fans, as there are plenty of “Grinches” among the true fans (and they most definitely know who they are, and so do discerning Lions fans)—in the hope that the Lions will be smart and select players who will be able to contribute to both the short- and long-term success of this franchise during the rebuilding phase.

Let’s not kid ourselves— the Detroit Lions were THAT bad.  The fact that the team is consistently competitive, even when playing second or third-string players at numerous positions (or having burned through the “fifth and sixth” string at linebacker this year), shows just how far this team has come since earning the title of “Owen XVI Champions.”

I feel excited about the team’s defensive line in the same way I did about my childhood heroes, the Silver Rush, every time they suit up to take the field.

Could you say you felt excited about the Detroit Lions defensive line taking the field during the 2008 season?  How about during the 2009 campaign?  I agree, not so much.

Oh what a difference an offseason can make as it pertains to the overhaul and retooling of the Detroit Lions defensive line. 

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew will have an opportunity to shore up other position groups in need of a talent infusion during the upcoming offseason, where the defensive back seven stands to gain considerable attention. 

The other obvious need is to be able to run the ball at a consistently high level, and factors have yet to come together to turn that dream into reality for the 2010 Detroit Lions, although this year’s offensive line looks better than the 2009 crew.

I have been a Detroit Lions mock draft enthusiast for several years.  My selections are largely guided by the information made available by the fine people at NFLDraftScout (www.nfldraftscout.com) and Drafttek (www.drafttek.com).  Michael Sudds is a draft prospect authority and his opinion is one that I highly value. 

I would like to credit these sources, as well as make them available to you in your quest to “mock the Detroit Lions draft” like many of us do.

Here is the template from which I will be working as of today, December 15, 2010.  The Detroit Lions have their own picks in Rounds 1 through 6 (1.-6.a.), plus Philadelphia’s sixth-round pick (6.b.), for a current total of seven picks in the 2011 NFL Draft.

No.      Rnd     Ovrl

1.         1.         (3)

2.         2.         (35)

3.         3.         (67)

4.         4.         (100)

5.         5.         (134)

6.         6.a.      (173)

7.         6.b.      (195)

I try to allow for a reasonable number of compensatory picks beginning at the end of the third round to give a more realistic feel for where the overall selection will be made.  I will offer primary and alternate player picks for each prospective draft selection.

Let’s get started and GO LIONS WIN!

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