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2010 NFL Free Agency and Draft: Detroit Lions Need to Find Defensive Backs

Ismail AijazuddinContributor IMarch 7, 2010

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: Eric Berry #14 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks on against the UCLA Bruins on September 12, 2009 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA beat Tennessee 19-15. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Over the last two or three days, the Detroit Lions have added several starters. They have also lost their top three cornerbacks. Philip Buchanon, Anthony Henry, and Will James.

With a revamped defensive line, the secondary now takes on the title as the weakest link on the entire team. There are a few free agent corners available, but the Lions might not be willing to lure another 30-year-old by overspending. The draft might be where the Lions have to find several starters.

As of now, Leigh Bodden may well be the top corner available. He is coming off a five interception season with the Patriots. However, after his last stop in Detroit, he is probably not going to be too interested in returning.

Another corner worth taking a look at is Lito Sheppard. He has cooled down the last few years, but could be a solid nickel back. Almost any player with starting experience is useful right now.

The top safety available right now is possibly Ryan Clark. He had three interceptions with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, and would work well with Louis Delmas.

In the first round of the draft, safety Eric Berry is the only defensive back worthy of the second pick. He is a ballhawk who would compliment Louis Delmas, who is a big hitter.

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In the second round, there are several options at corner. First, there has been a lot of talk about Kyle Wilson. Over the last few weeks, his stock has been rising, so he could well be gone when Detroit picks. If he is available, they will have a hard time letting him go.

Another option here is Patrick Robinson, who had a great Senior Bowl and Combine. Robinson has the speed and athleticism the Lions are looking for, but needs to work on run support, at only sports a 190-pound frame.

With Detroit's third pick, safety Reshad Jones might be their best option. He is another hard hitter like Delmas. The two of them would make receivers fear running a post route for years to come.

A third round corner who could fall to Detroit is Perrish Cox. He is solid in coverage and can hit. Cox may be available here due to questions about his maturity after being suspended in the Cotton Bowl for missing curfew.

With the secondary as bad as it is now, it's conceivable that a starting corner or safety could be found in the fourth round.

Michigan's Donovan Warren could be taken with this pick. He is a hard worker and a great leader. Warren also has some big play ability.

No matter what, the secondary is now Detroit's No. 1 concern. No matter how it's addressed, something has to be done to improve the talent level of this unit. The Lions may have an improved defensive line, but with a secondary in this state, passing the ball against Detroit will be just as easy as it's always been.

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