By: Eric Thomas
Now that the draft is tomorrow, here is my “lock it down” want for the Lions: Bring me Mark Barron. If the Lions trade up to get someone (as Doug Karsch mentioned in another blog), then let it be Mark Barron.
I totally understand where people want corners. They get a lot of attention, and the Lions are THIN at the position. I don’t care. CB might be the Lions position of most thirsty of needs but I still think you trade up because you want Mark Barron.
I understand that you might be panting over Stephon Gilmore, and you are right. The guy has every measurable thing you want in a corner. Gilmore is also by all accounts a model citizen, and in an NFL where the commish hands out suspension with the hammer of Odin himself, that is a huge asset.
I understand if you want Dre Kirkpatrick. He doesn’t have Gilmore’s size but he was a shut down corner on one of the best defenses we have ever seen in 1A. He has an off the field blemish, but I will always give a guy a mulligan. It’s where you see someone have ANOTHER one where you want to become recalcitrant.
There are other corners outside the first round. Alfanzo Dennard could start immediately for the Lions, or at least be an excellent #3 guy while he learns the ropes. There is also the Asante Samuel question, and those drum beats get louder when the Lions don’t take a QB in the first round.
But if you want a great defense in the NFL, you gotta have a safety. Every time you mention an amazing defense, you usually have a great corner. Who were the corners for the Steelers during their recent Superbowl success? Only the nerdiest of nerds know them, but I am pretty sure you know who Troy Polamalu is. Who were the corners when Tampa Bay won their only Superbowl? Do you know who Josh Lynch is?
Yes, Barron is at that level of talent. He is like a Brian Dawkins type of guy. He isn’t fast but he can hit with power. Having Delmas and Barron in the backfield will make up for all kinds of fallacies in the CB ranks.
The name of elite safeties are written in the wind of the NFL. Ed Reed, Merton Hanks, Ronnie Lott and others all were the backstop on teams that had suffocating defenses. There were obviously other players on those teams with talent, but when you can get a great safety you can make your team frightening for decades to come. That’s probably the best part about drafting defensive backfield; these guys tend to have really long careers.
So if we are gonna trade up, bring me Mark Barron. Here is my updated wishlist:
1. Mark Barron
2. Dre Kirkpatrick
3. Dont’a Hightower
Didn’t include a DE on here, and I will be really disappointed if they do. I think that DE is a position that is NOT that deep in this draft. Plus with franchising Avril, they can afford to wait a year.