By Quinne Lowe @sports_qa on May 13, 2014
Now that the 2014 NFL Draft is complete, we get to assess the Lions' selections from worst to first not based on what round they were selected but the level of impact they could have for the team this year and beyond.
Project is the first word that comes to mind for this small school talent. While he played DE in college and in the East-West Shrine game, some are already transitioning him to the TE position where there's a log jam of talent.
While the Lions did draft a cornerback, many Lions fans were expecting a bigger splash than the 5-foot-9 prospect from Utah State. In a division where you are facing receivers who are 6-foot-3 and taller, how much can Lions fans expect out of this talented but diminutive defensive back?
Since the retirement of Jason Hanson the Lions have been searching for a solid placekicker, and the reliable Freese could be the answer. He finished the 2013 season as one of only two placekickers to not miss an attempt with more than 10 tries. He doesn't have a strong kickoff leg, but second-year punter Sam Martin can handle those duties.
The Lions have had one center in the past 14 years, Dominic Raiola, but his career is winding down. While Swanson may not have the best physical tools, he has the mental capacity to make all the right reads, calls and be the leader of the offensive line once Raiola calls it a career.
The Lions have one of the most heralded defensive tackle tandems in the league with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, but there are contract questions with both beyond this season. Reid not only brings some needed depth, but if he plays well, he could be in line to replace one of the starters if they choose to leave Detroit.
The talented Ebron is a luxury for a team that already has two other contributing tight ends in Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Placing him at No. 3 isn't an indictment on his talent; it just means that the two other players selected in the draft filled a bigger need to the team for the moment.
Who is the Lions slot receiver? While they have solidified the outside receivers with Megatron and Golden Tate, there still is an unknown at the slot. Jones has the ability to come in even as a late-round rookie and reap the benefits of defenses worrying about the outside receivers and whoever lines up at running back.
Who had more sacks than Jadeveon Clowney and more interceptions than Kyle Fuller last season? This answer is Kyle Van Noy. If he is able to settle in at the SAM linebacker position, he could be the answer to not only the coverage woes the Lions have been suffering from, but also give defensive coordinator Teryl Austin another blitz option in his aggressive defense.
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