The Detroit Lions went into the 2014 NFL Draft needing defense, mainly in the secondary. After picking freak-athlete TE Eric Ebron in the first round, you knew the later rounds would have to be jam-packed with defense or else the Lions management might have faced an angry mob wielding pitch forks out the windows of classic American-made muscle. Thankfully, the Lions did a fine job picking up some good talent on defense.
First of all, the trade made to get Kyle Van Noy out of BYU was great. He’s a guy with good pass-rushing skills, high football I.Q., and a huge upside. He was roommates with Ziggy Ansah, so hopefully some of that built-in chemistry will rub off on the rest of the defense. The Lions needed solid talent at linebacker, and Van Noy should prove to be a good pick.
I also like getting Caraun Reid from the meathead factory that is Princeton University. Princeton is of course known more as a basketball school than anything else, but many think Reid was a great sleeper pick in this draft, and putting some smart guys on that Lions defense certainly can’t hurt. I know it’s been months since the end of the season, but stupidity like that shown by the Lions players in terms of penalties and bad tackling just doesn’t go away in the minds of the fans.
In the draft, the Lions failed at defensive back pickups. They did grab CB Kevin Lawson, who does have some workable attributes like speed and long arms, but considering the Lions secondary was the worst part of the team last season, it was a disappointing effort in the draft for defensive backs.
However, the Lions did make a lot of pickups in the offseason for the secondary, so perhaps they felt like the moves they made in the offseason would be enough to help the defensive back situation.
Spoiler Alert: It will probably not be enough to help.
That being said, the pickups were solid, and who knows, maybe some of the offseason additions will prove to be key defenders in the secondary for the Lions. Overall, it was a good draft for Detroit, but we won’t know just how good, or bad, until well after Thanksgiving.