2014 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions’ 5 Dark Horse 1st-Round Targets

2014 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions' 5 Dark Horse 1st-Round Targets

Lions Fans
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

With three week left until the 2014 NFL Draft, no one has a true gauge of the direction for the Lions with the No. 10 selection. We have seen a couple of names consistently linked to being the selection, but even those players cannot be etched in stone. Here are five names who may not have been mentioned yet, but depending on how things play out, could surprisingly end up wearing Honolulu blue and silver.

5. Eric Ebron, TE, UNC

Eric Ebron TE
Liz Condo - USA Today Sports

5. Eric Ebron, TE, UNC

eric ebron
Liz Condo - USA Today Sports

Prior to the re-signing of Brandon Pettigrew, some mock drafts previously had the Lions eyeing this talented pass catcher to be their new tight end. But don’t be surprised to see the Lions still add Ebron. He would become the guy to occupy the middle of the field and help create single coverage for Megatron and Golden Tate on the outside.

4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Copy of matthews thomas campbell
Thomas Campbell - USA Today Sports

4. Jake Matthews OT, Texas A&M

Jake Matthews Texas A&M
Thomas Campbell - USA Today Sports

This would definitely be a "best player available" selection for Martin Mayhew. And while the Lions' offensive line has made great strides over the past two seasons, it could be hard to pass on a player with Matthews' talent and pedigree. This selection would allow Riley Reiff to move inside to guard and make the offensive line the strength of the team.

3. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Kyle Fuller CB
Paul Frederiksen - USA Today Sports

3. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Kyle Fuller CB
Paul Frederiksen - USA Today Sports

Many mock drafts have the Lions drafting a cornerback, but very few have chosen Fuller for that spot. The former Virginia Tech Hokie has fully healed from the sports hernia injury and he has shown to still have the speed and agility to maybe move him ahead of the consensus favorites: Darquez Dennard and Justin GIlbert. He is bigger than Dennard -- 6-foot to 5-foot-11 -- and is more technically sound than Gilbert.

2. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Kony Ealy
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

2. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Kony Ealy DE
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

Could the Lions take another defensive end high this year. For Lions fans, this could be reminiscent to the run on wide receivers during the terrible Matt Millen era. The deference is, some feel that Ealy possesses the size (6-foot-4, 272 pounds) and ability to be a complimentary pass rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah. He also possesses the ability to slide inside on third down and provide an interior rush which adds versatility to his skill set.

1. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Aaron Donald DT
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

1. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Aaron Donald DT
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

Could a selection like this signal the end of the tandem of Ndumokong Suh and Nick Fairley? The Lions' front office is currently at a stalemate with Suh's contract extension and by drafting Donald it would be easier for the team to entertain trade proposals for Suh and not miss a beat on the field because they would already have his replacement on the roster.