Why Not Eric Berry, Detroit?

Oliver SethContributor IMarch 17, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 2: Defensive back Eric Berry of Tennessee jumps in the air to catch the football in drills during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Have you heard of Eric Berry? Detroit, maybe you should take look at this man. 

NFL Analysts and scouts see either Russell Okung from Oklahoma State or Ndamukong Suh out of Nebraska. But some people rule out Berry for financial reasons; understandable, but for me, Berry out of Tennessee makes the most sense.

Why, you ask? 

Simple. Detroit has a love affair with Jeff Backus which many do state, and see him as the starter, while many rumors say Okung, if drafted, would move Backus to guard. I just don't see that happening as of yet.

Some say Suh is the most talented player and highest rated in the Draft: wrong. That honor belongs to the man Eric Berry himself. 

As for Suh, where does he fit in? They now have Corey Williams, which for me ruled Gerald McCoy out of Oklahoma the moment the trade occurred. Suh would obviously be the main focus on the front line in Detroit. But Sammie Lee Hill, a surprise due to the progress he made last year, shows he could fill the starting spot. 

That leaves us with Berry. He played safety in college, but has been quoted to play nickel, corner, free, and strong safety, making him the definition of versatile.

Another thing that people are saying is that safeties are not drafted that early; the same can be made for defensive tackles. So that argument just won't fly for me. Berry fills a bigger need on the defense than Suh would, for the previous statement on Williams and Hill.

Berry would tag along with a top notch and future superstar Louis Delmas for many years, giving Detroit the flexibility to not worry as much, if they had not drafted him. 

Along with the notes stated above, an offensive lineman to me is an easier position to fill in the later rounds. Some notable players they could take in the second round could be Maurkice Pouncey, a center/guard from Florida, or Vladimir Ducasse from UMass.

These would be a better fit at LG, leaving the love affair with Backus at tackle intact for another year. And the recent news of Pitts visiting Detroit could show they are sticking to leaving Backus at tackle for another year.

And if they do decide to go and move Backus, why not grab a guy like Charles Brown from USC or a guy like Bruce Campbell if he manages to fall that far?

Another note, with Anthony Hargrove visiting Detroit as well, maybe that the Lions are indeed looking for outer free agents to fill a need instead of drafting a guy like Suh or Okung.

Berry to me is the choice that the Detroit Lions should make, but likely will not. Berry fills a stronger void in the secondary than, say, Suh does for the line or Okung for protection. 

Yes, I know the protection of the star, Matthew Stafford, is vital, but with a later pick.  One of the four players I listed in the second round would still lessen the trouble Stafford would have, leaving Berry as the better pick for the Lions.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.