2011 NFL Draft Grades: What Detroit Lions Need To Do To Ace Rounds 2 and 3

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: What Detroit Lions Need To Do To Ace Rounds 2 and 3
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Nick Fairley Round One Draft Pick

A day after Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz took the majority of Lions nation by surprise with their first-round draft pick, DT Nick Fairley, we get ready to head into the second and third rounds of the draft.

Before we do so, it may be worth mentioning that Schwartz and Mayhew could not have been happier with getting Fairley with the 13th overall pick.  What many have considered to already be an area of strength for the Lions, the interior defensive line, has just gotten bigger and stronger.

The idea, as told by Schwartz, is to be able to rotate the DTs so they are always fresh on the field.  Ndamukong Suh took almost 1,000 snaps last season.  It would appear that Schwartz doesn't want to risk wearing down the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year.  He also wants to make a formidable line into a beastly one. 

If Fairley can keep his helmet out of the backs and legs of other players and not have any late hits on the QB, the Lions have all the makings of a much-improved "Williams Wall" of the Minnesota Vikings.

Interestingly, with the first round in the books, the Lions chose to play to their strengths and get a guy they never dreamed would fall to 13.  They went with the "best player available" philosophy on their first pick.

Will this point to a trend of not getting players based on need and instead getting players based on best player available?

We are about to find out.

With the second and third rounds about to begin today we will look at the positions of need that did not get addressed yesterday.  Which players are left on the board that the Lions should be looking at? 

Mayhew and Schwartz left with a grade of A- after the first round and even that was hard to give them at the time.  What will they need to do to get an A with the second- and third-round choices?

Here are the players they should target if they hope to leave today's picks with a better grade than yesterday's.  To be honest, I wish we could somehow walk away with all of them.  The second and third rounds are going to be very heavy with needed positional players.

Since there is no way of predicting how the second and third rounds will go, all of the players I have included here cover both second- and third-round picks.

May the best players come out wearing Honolulu blue and silver!

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