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Monday, May 5, 2014

Detroit Lions 2014 pre-NFL Draft Blog Part II



With less then a week to go before the 2014 NFL draft, and a week since my last blog entry, I've realized that many of the players that the Lions would like to draft in the first round may be gone before the 10th pick is announced. I do not advocate trading up in the draft, that almost never works out, but trading down is always an option if you can find a team that still wants to move up. One such team that is as likely as any other to want to trade up is the Dallas Cowboys. The Lions even have a sort of history trading with the Cowboys, so when I put my first (and final) 2014 mock draft together I predicted the Lions trading down with the cowboys and gaining a 3rd round pick in the process, this year, (and assumed it would include a 3rd or 4th from next year as well). Doing so would provide the Lions with 9 picks in the 2014 draft. With an additional week to think about it, I've decided to add cornerback to my list of possible positions the Lions might address in the draft, not because I think the current roster hasn't at least some talent on it, but because I think the Lions will want to continue to put pressure on those already on the roster to improve with said draft pick. My 1 round mock draft can be found at http://www.theNetRat.com/draft.html and it is one I have entered (for the first time) into the Huddle Reports mock draft "contest" http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/mockdrafts.shtml... wish me luck.

On that same webpage after scrolling down past the final pick in the first round is my Top 100 Big Board for 2014 (and below that is the 2013 one, which tied for 38th place nation-wide, beating Mel Kiper Jr by 2 points) http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/top100.shtml Anyway, the top 100 big board has some names in bold, those are the players that have been noted as having contact with the Lions Front Office (over and above the standard scouting of all players). In the past, many, and in some years most, of the Lions draft picks were players who were on this list (that LionHawk and this year, CaptainBlue, compile, both from my forum).

Last week I explained how the Lions won't necessarily draft a player for their most immediate need in any particular round, but rather are looking to get the best talent they possibly can with each pick, but that the pick must be able to be a fit on the roster in some manner. If there is no [potential] roster spot for the pick then there is no point in wasting the pick on that player. I also explained the Lions tend to take players from a small handful of similarly ranked players with each pick... or in other words, one of the Best Players Available (BPA). Note, not thee best player available, but one of the best ones available. Anyway, my assumption is the Lions will be looking to fill the Starting Strong Side Linebacker spot (who can also play some left Defensive End in rotation), a Kicker, a Safety (possibly a starting one), depending on Houston's health - either a starting or future starting Cornerback, a backup Center (and heir apparent to Raiola), a Wide Receiver, possibly a Tight End, a Defensive Tackle to rotate in and eventually replacing Fairley, and perhaps a future Left Guard or Backup QB.

The Lions have a couple of picks in the 4th round that can not be traded (Comp picks). My first round mock shows I believe they may try to trade down to pick up an additional 3rd rounder this year. My Big Board shows the Players the Lions have had extra contact with and history shows this many times means the player is of particular interest to the team. Finally, my estimated depth chart shows what positions I think the Lions will try to address if the draft falls any way reasonably close to the way they hope it will. This gives me various 2014 Lions draft pictures, some of which follow... in other words, the Lions draft might look like one of these:

Possibility #1:
1. CB Darqueze Dennard
2. DE/OLB Jeremiah Attaochu
3. S Deone Bucannon
3b. DT Caraun Reid
4. C Bryan Stork
4b. QB Aaron Murray
4c. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz
6. WR Cody Hoffman
7. K Chris Boswell

Possibility #2:
1. DE/OLB Anthony Barr
2. WR Jordan Mathews
3. C Weston Richburg
3b. CB Jaylen Watkins
4. S Ahmad Dixon
4b. DT Will Sutton
4c. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz
6. G/T Jeremiah Sirles
7. K Nate Freese

Possibility #3:
1. DT Aaron Donald
2. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
3. WR Cody Latimer
3b. CB Marcus Roberson
4. C Russell Bodine
4b. DE/OLB Larry Webster
4c. QB Logan Thomas
6. K Cody Parker
7. S Jerome Couplin III

I think I could come up with another 2 to 4 possible scenarios, and this just from the contact list... never straying from my estimated depth chart... and my ranking sheets... before I have to start duplicating players making for even more combinations of options. One thing for sure, the Lions have the potential to add a LOT of talent to the roster, assuming the front office can vet the draft list as well or better then last year, and with some luck (preferably the good kind).

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