Many so-called draft experts had the Detroit Lions picking corner backs Stephon Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick with the 23rd pick of the 2012 NFL draft. With both of those players gone by the time Detroit’s pick came up the team was left at the altar so to speak, but took home OT Riley Reiff from Iowa as a consolation prize.
The offensive tackle will help solidify Detroit’s aging line and help protect quarterback Matthew Stafford for years to come. This was not at all a bad selection for the Lions.
Picking an offensive tackle addressed a major need. The team will have to focus on finding help for the defensive secondary and for the running game as many questions exist at that position as well.
With OT Jeff Backus getting up there in age and coming of a season with injury problems look for Reiff to contribute in the near future. He will probably start off as a backup to Backus, but that could all change if an injury or a lack of performance occurs at the left tackle position.