2014 NFL Draft: Ranking the Detroit Lions’ Top 5 Needs
2014 NFL Draft: Ranking The Detroit Lions' 5 Biggest Needs
Coming into 2014, the Detroit Lions are coming off one of the worst second half collapses in NFL history in 2013. After starting 6-3 and holding the NFC North title within their grasp, the Lions instead went backwards, going 1-6 to finish 7-9 in third place in the NFC North. Plenty of major coaches and players took the brunt of the blame as Jim Schwartz, Gunther Cunningham and Scott Linehan were fired, and safety Louis Delmas, kicker David Akers and wide receiver Nate Burleson were all released after poor seasons.
Now that the Lions have brought in former Super Bowl participant coach Jim Caldwell to replace Schwartz, the team will be looking to turn around their poor culture. The Lions don't need any major upgrades on their roster as they have their franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford, their No. 1 running back in Reggie Bush, the best wide receiver in the NFL in Calvin Johnson and three great players on their defensive front four in Ezekiel Ansah, Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.
All the Lions have to do now is upgrade some key positions on their roster that hopefully will be enough to win the NFC North title for the first time since 1993. GM Martin Mayhew is rightfully on the hot seat after some questionable decisions in the past two years, and 2014 is not just crucial for Mayhew, but the entire Lions organization as well.
With the 2014 NFL Draft class being one of the deepest in recent memory, the Lions and Mayhew must take advantage of the great talent that is coming out this year. While the team can afford to take the best available players when the draft takes place in May, there are some needs that the Lions must address in this year's draft.
Here now are the Lions' five biggest needs in the 2014 NFL Draft.
After the departure of Delmas, the Lions need a quarterback in their secondary who can be a good complement to Glover Quin.
4. Defensive End
Aside from Ansah, the Lions don't have much of a pass rush on the outside. Another player on the edge will make the Lions' front four dominant.
3. Tight End
With former starter Brandon Pettigrew likely out the door, Joseph Fauria will be the top tight end. With Fauria going into only his second year, a complementary tight end can help Fauria and give Stafford another weapon in the middle.
2. Wide Receiver
Although the Lions have the best receiver in the NFL in Johnson, they don't have any other bona fide receivers. The Lions definitely need a No. 2 receiver as well as someone who can play in the slot.