2011 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions Are on the Clock with the 13th Pick

Alex BarrettContributor IApril 18, 2011

Ndamukong Suh is a man among children already after only one season.
Ndamukong Suh is a man among children already after only one season.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Detroit Lions

2010 Record: 6-10 (.375)

Team Needs: CB, OL, RB, S, LB


The Lions are finally enjoying some success, and hope that 2011 brings the franchise their first winning season since the 2000 campaign.

Also, the Lions enter this draft with a solid core of good and great players for the first time in recent memory. This draft will be more about building upon what is already there, rather than past drafts that have focused on taking the best available player just to try to sell jerseys.

After a stupendous pick in Ndamukong Suh last season, the Lions' defensive line can get to the QB on a somewhat consistent basis without bringing extra men for a pass rush. In order to make this a great defensive team, secondary help is needed. (With Suh, fashion the new-look Lions to the early 2000's Titans with Albert Haynesworth.)

Also a need for Detroit is to protect one of their most valuable assets, (and already very-injury prone,) QB Matt Stafford. Stafford has shown he can be the player they need, but he really needs to hit the turf much less if the Lions want him as their signal caller going forth.

The Lions are drafting almost in the middle of the pack, where there is plenty of talent to address either of these two needs.

Another area of concern is injury-prone RB Jahvid Best, who had a few great games last year and showed flashes of brilliance, but was mired most of the season with an injured foot and missed a few games as a result. Do they need RB Mark Ingram? Not especially, but he will be there—and he is good.

Anthony Castonzo and Nate Solder are going to be there for OL help, while there really are no secondary players that the Lions should reach for this early. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to move down at least once to grab some extra picks—the Lions only have six total this year and could really address some additional needs with a few more selections.

Even by moving down just a few picks in the first round, they could still possibly nab Solder near the 20 spot and try to grab either CB Jimmy Smith or DB Aaron Williams, who should be converted into a safety in the NFL.

Also in the Lions favor - five NFL Hall of Fame players drafted at lucky number 13;

RB Jim Brown

RB Franco Harris

TE Kellen Winslow

DE Carl Eller

And TE Tony Gonzalez, who should join those above soon after retiring.