By: Jeff Riger
This time of year, everybody has an opinion about who the Lions should take with their 10th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.
Most of the pundits will predict Detroit to take a receiver. Whether it’s Sammy Watkins from Clemson falling to the Lions or Mike Evans from Texas A&M, most fans would be happy with a legit second option for Matt Stafford to throw to. Other media types claim Detroit will chose a safety, another position of need, which makes perfect sense. Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor from Louisville both should be available when Detroit’s pick comes around, and the Lions might be able to trade down in the process. They could get their guy and maybe some other selections too. That would be a win-win any way you look at it. Of course the Lions could also take a cornerback too and it just so happens that Michigan State’s Darqueze Denard would be a target that could benefit Detroit in their secondary, something that has been a glaring need as long as I can remember.
Read or listen to anybody that compiles a mock draft and there is a great chance that they’ll tell you the Lions will take a Receiver, Safety or Cornerback. Everybody seems to agree.
And, then there is Peter King from Sports Illustrated…
King, who writes “The Monday Morning Quarterback” every week, compiled his mock draft today, and the player he has the Lions selecting will definitely shock you. Check it out below.
1. Houston: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida.
2. St. Louis: Greg Robinson, T, Auburn.
3. Jacksonville: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina.
4. Cleveland: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville.
5. Oakland: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M.
6. Atlanta: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M.
7. Tampa Bay: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo.
8. Minnesota: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA.
9. Buffalo: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson.
10. Detroit: Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan.
I respect King, I think everybody does. I can’t tell you how many people I hear citing King’s “MMQB’s” over the years. It’s a very popular piece and King does a fantastic job with it, however he seems way off on this one.
King doesn’t list his reasoning as to why he thinks the Lions would select Taylor Lewan, so we are forced to try and figure out on our own what he’s thinking?
Of all the issues the Lions have, it seems like the offensive line isn’t at the top of the list, especially at left tackle. The Lions spent their first pick on Riley Reiff two seasons ago and last season he played all 16 games at the position. In fact the offensive line, for the most part was a strong suit for the team last year, and everyone is expected to be back in 2014. Sure Lewan had an impressive combine over the weekend where he ran the quickest 40-yard-dash time for an offensive lineman in the last 9 years, but that isn’t enough to make the Lions draft him at 10 overall. In fact Lewan isn’t even the best tackle in the draft either. Auburn’s Greg Robinson and Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews grade out better.
No doubt, it’s an interesting time for the organization as a new coaching regime might not be as satisfied with some of the players from the old staff. I have no clue what Jim Caldwell thinks of LaAdrian Waddel, the teams current Right Tackle. However considering Waddle is under contract at least until the end of next season and offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn was retained by the new coaching staff, I would assume the continuity in the line should remain the same. Yes, the Lions might be in the market for a backup right tackle which Lewan could play, but no way do you use the 10th overall pick for that.
And then there is Lewan’s involvement in the Brenden Gibbons case…
In fact looking at King’s mock, the Lions would be more likely trading up a spot to get Watkins if he were to fall to the Bills or they could even trade up to 7 or 8 and grab one of the Linebackers that King has going to the Bucs and Vikings. As good as Ashlee Palmer can be, the new coaching staff might feel better with an upgrade through the draft.
As I sit here in front of my computer screen, I can’t even fathom what King was thinking when he made out this latest mock draft. King, without a doubt knows more about football than I will ever, but just not in this circumstance.
Peter King, please explain yourself, I gotta know what you’re thinking.
Would you consider taking a Tackle at 10 in the draft of you’re the Lions?