The 2013 NFL Draft is one of the hardest to predict in recent history. For the first time in quite awhile, the number one overall pick will not be decided until 8pm. Several teams in the first round are also throwing a wrench into plans by putting their picks on the trading block.
The Detroit Lions hold the fifth overall selection and find themselves in a tough position. Once thought to hold a valuable place to draft a key offensive lineman or defensive end, the Lions could see the depth at those two positions disappear in front of them.
Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are considered to be the two best offensive lineman available in the 2013 NFL Draft. Joeckel is expected to go number one to the Kansas City Chiefs. Fisher could go anywhere from second overall to fifth overall. I had the Lions taking Fisher in my last mock draft, but part of that was wishful thinking.
If both Joeckel and Fisher are gone when the Lions pick at fifth, they might be left taking the third best offensive lineman. I profiled Lane Johnson in a recent article and am still not sold on him this high in the draft. There is also a slight possibility that all three offensive lineman will be gone before the Lions pick, leaving them to address their biggest need later in the draft.
The Oakland Raiders, who hold the third pick in the draft, are looking at trading down. This could be good news and bad news for the Lions. Detroit can move up if Joeckel or Fisher is available and take one. However, reports are that the Raiders want a second or third round pick despite the two place switch. The Raiders putting their pick up may mean another team moves up and blocks the Lions from strengthening their offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, Detroit needs defensive ends. The team is expected to have the possibility of Dion Jordan or Ziggy Ansah at number five. The Lions could be stuck deciding about the two or could be left without either one available.
My personal opinion is the Lions should move up to take Fisher or Joeckel, but not give up more than a third round pick. I am not sold on Johnson or Ansah and would like to see the Lions trade back if they don’t get their coveted offensive lineman targets. I wrote recently about the team trading back and taking guard Chance Warmack or defensive end Bjoern Werner.