2013 NFL Draft: Options for Detroit Lions at Number Five Overall
Detroit Lions First Round Options
On Sunday, the Detroit Lions lost for the eighth straight game. The bad news is the Lions returned to their old ways and failed to qualify for the NFL Playoffs once again. The good news is the Lions will have a top five pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
On April 25th, the Lions will select fifth during the live draft on ESPN. Two or three teams ahead of the Lions need a franchise quarterback and could be looking at taking one in the first round. This bodes well for the Lions as they appear to be all set with Matthew Stafford.
The draft appears to be heavy with defensive linemen and linebackers at the top of analysts' Big Boards. With the Lions losing several key defensive players to free agency, they could take a defensive end or linebacker.
The position the Lions have ignored for several years is cornerback. The Lions have the opportunity to take an elite cornerback in Dee Milliner from Alabama. Is Milliner worth the fifth overall pick or should the Lions draft the best available player.
At the start of December, I created a mock draft based on draft positions at the time. The teams selection order has changed, but many of the players remain the same. Here is a look at what I think the Lions will do with their pick at number five.
Demontre Moore, DL, Texas A&M
The Detroit Lions could select Damontre Moore with the fifth overall pick. With Texas A&M, Moore played on the defensive line, where the team was impressive all season long. Moore also switched from linebacker and could be versatile in the NFL playing many positions.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Star Lotulelei is an impressive big defensive tackle. At 6'4" 325 pounds, Lotulelei is impressivly quick at getting off blocks to make tackles. The Detroit Lions could use someone with the power of Star and could take him here with the fifth pick.
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Detroit Lions took an offensive tackle in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Despite this, the team could take another chance at offensive tackle with Jake Matthews. If Matthews leaves early for the draft he will be one of several Texas A&M stars expected to go in the first round. Jake is the son of Bruce Matthews, who played in the NFL for 19 seasons. Jake is also the cousin of Casey and Clay Matthews and comes from an impressive NFL bloodline.
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
The Detroit Lions front office staff will likely be watching the BCS National Championship. One of the reasons will be to get a glimpse of Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te'o. The Fighting Irish star linebacker has become a household name and is a dominant force. Te'o is expected to get drafted in the top five picks, so the Lions have an outside shot of getting him here.
Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
In my first mock draft, I had Jarvis Jones listed as the second overall pick. Jones is possibly the top player in the draft, but may slip several spots because teams need quarterbacks. If somehow Jones slips to fifth overall, the Detroit Lions should take him. At Georgia, Jones had 77 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in the 2012 season.
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
I said it in my mock draft at the start of December and I'll say it again, the Detroit Lions need a cornerback. Even worse, the team has to resign number one cornerback Chris Houston during the off season. Dee Milliner is the best option for the Lions. If the team can get Jones to fall or thinks someone else is worth the fifth overall pick, they will have to wait until the second round to take a cornerback. A cornerback taken later will likely be the number two corner for the team, making Houston a must sign.
Trade the Pick
Perhaps the best move for a team with so many needs is to trade the pick. The Detroit Lions need the most help in secondary. A trade could be made with another team for a veteran cornerback or safety. Otherwise, the Lions could trade their number five pick to get multiple picks back. I see the Lions wanting a pick in the late teens of the first round to take a cornerback or safety they need. If the team got a first and second for their fifth overall, the Lions should pull the trigger. There are many needs for the team and many of them could come from a quantity of picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. Back in 2009, the Lions traded with the Dallas Cowboys to get the number twenty pick, ultimately used to take tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The Lions could make a memorable trade this year.