(Sports Network) - A dismal 4-12 season has the Detroit Lions in all too
familiar territory, mulling a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft.
The Lions thought they put this kind of thing behind them after a 2011 playoff
appearance but things went off the rails pretty quickly last year and it's
imperative head coach Jim Schwartz turns things around quickly.
Cleaning up the mental mistakes and all the pre-snap penalties would go a long
way in curing the woes of Detroit's talented offense, led by quarterback
Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, and All-World receiver
Calvin Johnson, the second selection in the '07 draft.
Add in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the second pick in the 2010 draft, from
the other side of the ball and you see Detroit has far too much experience
picking in the top 10 and way too much talent to be doing so again.
This time around the Lions are in the fifth slot and looking at some familiar
needs, specifically the offensive line and the secondary.
The team badly needs to solve its tackle situation since right tackle Gosder
Cherilus left for Indianapolis in free agency and veteran left tackle Jeff
Backus called it quits after a solid 12-year career.
With 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff better suited for the right side it's more
than likely the Lions would jump on Central Michigan's Eric Fisher if he
lasted to the fifth overall selection. Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, although
probably not worthy of being picked at No. 5, has also been moving up most
draft boards and could be in play. Also don't rule out Alabama guard Chance
Warmack, who some consider the best overall player in this draft.
The secondary, even with the return of corner Chris Houston and oft-injured
safety Louis Delmas, needs plenty of help and general manager Martin Mayhew is
reportedly enamored with Warmack's teammate at Alabama, corner Dee Milliner.
Other needs for Detroit include running back despite ex-Dolphins playmaker
Reggie Bush relocating to the Motor City, and wide receiver behind Johnson
because Titus Young burned his bridge out of town and both Ryan Broyles and
Nate Burleson are coming off injuries.
Defensive end is yet another need after left end Cliff Avril relocated to
Seattle and veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch was released in February.
2012 Record: 4-12
Top Needs: OT, DE, CB
First Three Picks: No. 5, No. 36, No. 65
Number of Selections: 8 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa); 2011 - Nick Fairley
(DT, Auburn); 2010 - Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska), Jahvid Best (RB,
California); 2009 - Matthew Stafford (QB, Georgia), Brandon Pettigrew (TE,
Oklahoma State); 2008 - Gosder Cherilus (OT, Boston College); 2007 - Calvin
Johnson (WR, Georgia Tech); 2006 - Ernie Sims (LB, Florida State); 2005 - Mike
Williams (WR, USC); 2004 - Roy Williams (WR, Texas), Kevin Jones (RB, Virginia
Tech); 2003 - Charles Rogers (WR, Michigan State).
The Sports Network