The Detroit Lions have remodeled their team so far this offseason in hopes of turning things around after a disappointing 7-9 finish in 2013. The team remolded their coaching staff in hiring Jim Caldwell as their new head coach. Caldwell brought on former New Orleans Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi to revamp the offense as the team’s offensive coordinator and former Baltimore Ravens defensive backs coach Teryl Austin to be the team’s defensive coordinator.
While the offense is in good shape, especially after the addition of a No. 2 wideout in Golden Tate via free agency, the defense needs work. The team’s secondary has been historically bad, and that continued last season as they ranked 23rd against the pass. They also released veteran free safety Louis Delmas, leaving a positional need that has yet to be filled. The Lions should consider former Alabama safety Ha’Sean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix with their No. 10 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to fill this void.
Clinton-Dix visited the Lions on Monday and was the team’s first major visit in the pre-draft interview process, which says a lot about how highly the Lions think of him. He had a great year for the Crimson Tide last season, starting all 14 games and contributing 51 tackles (30 solo), two interceptions and four passes defended. At 6-foot-1 208-pounds, he has great size for a safety. Clinton-Dix also ran an impressive 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine. His size and speed combination gives him the ability to cover great lengths of the field and to recover quickly when necessary.
While Clinton-Dix was the first player on the Lions’ board to visit the team, there are other positional needs that the team needs to address through team visits/interviews to see who is the best fit at the No. 10 pick. Cornerback is still a huge positional need for the Lions, and both Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard would fit in nicely there. Although the team added Tate in free agency, there is still speculation that the Lions could go with a wide receiver like Mike Evans at 10 or possibly even trade up for Sammy Watkins. The loss of Willie Young also creates a need at defensive end where a player like Khalil Mack would fit in nicely. The Lions would more than likely have to trade up for Mack, however, as he is a highly regarded talent in this year’s draft.
The Lions have an urgent need at safety, though, and with the cream of the crop in this year’s free agent class gone already, it looks as though the best option that they have is Clinton-Dix in the draft. We will have to wait and see how the rest of the draft interview process works out, but Clinton-Dix would be a nice fit for the Lions with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.