NFL Draft 2011: Detroit Lions Look to Continue to Build on Defense
It's pretty clear what the Detroit Lions are trying to do.
Just two years removed from completing the NFL's first winless 16-game season, the Lions are slowly but surely correcting wrongs by paying homage to an age-old football lesson: the game is won along the offensive and defensive lines.
“You go back in 2009, we drafted an offensive lineman, we drafted a defensive lineman,” general manager Martin Mayhew said recently at league meetings, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Last year, we did the same thing. So I think you’ll see us continue to address those areas.”
If so, Detroit has a plethora of options with the 13th pick.
This year's draft is teeming with talented defensive lineman, some of which the Lions are currently targeting.
California's Cameron Jordan and Missouri's Aldon Smith have paid visits, both of whom could contribute instantly to a Detroit defense that slouched against the run in 2010, despite the emergence of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
As for the other side of the ball, reinforcements are needed on the offensive line.
Former Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey has the skill to go early, and his stock is made all the more appealing by comparisons made to his brother, Maurkice, who excelled as a rookie in Pittsburgh last season.
Pouncey would give the Lions versatility, whereas Colorado's Nate Solder would be an ideal choice to bookend with Gosder Cherilus at tackle.
For more on the NFL Draft: 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Comparing Experts Picks from Around the Web
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