Rant Sports 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Detroit Lions Select Odell Beckham Jr. at No. 10
By the time it got to my pick, I was fairly unhappy with how the draft had gone. As a team without a need at quarterback I was hoping for QBs to come off the board early and often. Unfortunately, the only QB taken in the top 10 was Blake Bortles, which significantly deprived the board of talented players at other positions that I would have liked to get.
Both Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews were gone by the Lions’ pick, and Taylor Lewan isn’t a great fit for the high-flying aerial attack that the Lions employ. However, I expected not to be able to get a quality offensive lineman who was a good fit anyhow.
Beckham is a solid player who’s a really safe pick. Though he doesn’t offer quite the upside as other players, he has a higher floor than all but Sammy Watkins. He excels at making explosive plays and is a great runner after the catch. He has decent size and is faster than many DBs, making him a priority to guard for defenses.
I really wanted to take Mike Evans; I thought he would fall to me and the thought of him opposite of Calvin Johnson is absolutely terrifying. The Lions’ secondary isn’t great so to make a Super Bowl team they will have to take a different approach than the Seattle Seahawks. I chose trying to make The Greatest Show on Turf part two.
With three first round draft picks on a loaded defensive line, the Lions are in an ideal position to play the same brand of football as Peyton Manning‘s famous Indianapolis Colts teams from back in the day. They throw the ball a lot, get a big lead, and let their defensive line pin their ears back to cover up a bad secondary.
Golden Tate is a good receiver to play opposite of Calvin, but if the Lions truly want to be contenders they’ll need to give Matthew Stafford as many great receiving options as possible. Calvin is elite, Tate is good and Reggie Bush is good, but they need another great receiver to solidify themselves as one of the top passing offenses of all-time.
Even with Watkins and Evans gone I thought it wouldn’t be a reach to spring for Beckham, there simply wasn’t another player talented enough to draw my attention from wide receivers.
Selecting Beckham does the Lions more good than just having another exceptional receiver; it allows Tate and Johnson to draw more one on one coverage. The three of them would easily compete for the best receiving core in the league and, whether they like to think about it or not, would provide the Lions with a chance to see if Stafford really is the QB they want for the next 10 years.
If at all possible I think the Lions should get Evans or Watkins by trading up, but if worst comes to worst Odell Beckham Jr. is still a great pick for them.