2014 NFL Draft: Five Sleepers Who Fit Perfectly For the Detroit Lions

2014 NFL Draft: Five Sleepers That Are a Fit For the Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions, 2014 NFL Draft, Jim Caldwell
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The Detroit Lions finished 2013 with six losses in their final seven games, going from the driver’s seat in the NFC North to 7-9 and out of playoffs.

New head coach Jim Caldwell will look to lead a turnaround in the Motor City this year, and here are five draft sleepers who would be a good fit for the Lions.

5. Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

Colt Lyerla
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

5. Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

Colt Lyerla
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Lyerla quit the team at Oregon last October, and later in the month he was arrested for cocaine possession and had his driver’s license suspended after multiple traffic tickets. Still, if the Lions are convinced those issues are behind him Lyerla has more upside as a receiver than Brandon Pettigrew or Joseph Fauria.

4. Keith McGill, CB, Utah

Keith McGill
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

4. Keith McGill, CB, Utah

Keith McGill
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

McGill is a big (6’3”) corner with decent speed (4.51 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine). He played safety in junior college and after transferring to Utah, but a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the entire 2012 season brought a position move heading into last season.

3. Antone Exum, S/CB, Virginia Tech

Antone Exum
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3. Antone Exum, S/CB, Virginia Tech

Antone Exum
Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Exum suffered a torn ACL in a pickup basketball game in January of 2013, then was bothered by a sprained ankle and played just three games as a senior. Versatility and special teams experience are significant strengths for Exum, and he could be a draft steal if 2013’s durability concerns are behind him.

2. Yawin Smallwood, LB, UConn

Yawin Smallwood
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. Yawin Smallwood, LB, UConn

Yawin Smallwood
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Smallwood had a productive senior season (118 tackles, four sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss), but a pulled hamstring while running the 40 at the NFL Combine has him falling down draft boards a bit. The Lions should be seeking an heir apparent for Stephen Tulloch at middle linebacker, and Smallwood fits the bill in terms of productivity and versatility.

1. Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State

Lamarcus Joyner
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1. Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State

Lamarcus Joyner-Streeter Lecka Getty
Streeter Lecka-Getty Images

Joyner is undersized (5’8”, 184 lbs.), but he has experience at both safety and corner and plays with a physical style that the Lions’ secondary needs.


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