Eight consecutive losses is not the way any team wants to end a season, but that is how the Detroit Lions finished the 2012-2013 campaign. Posting a miserable 4 and 12 record the Lions finished last in their division and seriously underachieved. The main reason for this is the Lions defense giving up the sixth most points per game in the NFL last year. With the signing of running back Reggie Bush adding one more weapon to a very potent offense, the Lions have an easy path to draft success. That being said let’s get into the Lions draft strategy.
Being the GM for the Lions this year is almost a no lose situation considering that the defensive prospects in the first five picks are much stronger than their offensive counterparts. The defense was not terrible about giving up total yards passing or receiving, but seemed to give up huge touchdowns and too many points. The best way to bolster a team that gives up big plays is to draft a defensive back or defensive end that can start right away. Luckily for Detroit there are a group of young dominant players at both positions.
Now let's do a round by round analysis.
Round 1 number 5
The defense must find a defensive back or defensive end so the best prospects at number 5 are Dee Milner of Alabama or Xavier Rhodes of Florida State.
Round 2 number 36
With Defensive back out of the way defensive end is now the most critical need, DE Bjoern Werner of Florida State or Barkevious Mingo of LSU are solid choices.
Round 3 number 65
Getting into the third round depth is the plan so go with an offensive line prospect like Menelik Watson from Florida State or an excellent value at free safety in Robert Lester of Alabama.
Round 4 number 132
After losing Drew Stanton this offseason this would be a great round to get value out of a QB this year and Ryan Nassib would be a steal with this pick.
Round 5 number 137
Strengthening the middle of the defense would be a good move here so an outside linebacker like Chase Thomas from Stanford would be a perfect fit that could impact immediately.
Round 6 number 171
The sixth round is a place to try and steal a talented player that is undervalued; the Lions can use another big play special teamer so Kenjon Barner of Oregon could play special teams and possibly contribute at running back.
Round 7 number 245
Finish out the draft the way it was started and get a defensive back that can possibly play right away. Branden Smith of Georgia has the potential to be a very competitive corner in the NFL
If the Lions can glean any talent on the defensive side of the ball in the draft it will be a complete turnaround from last year. Don’t be surprised if the silver and blue are competing in the 2013 NFL playoffs.