Good Morning and ROOOAARRRR!!!!!
While a lot of the attention around the Detroit Lions in this space has been about the coaching search -- and rightfully so -- we've also tried to mix in some of the beginnings of what the team will look for in May's NFL draft.
And colleague Kevin Weidl, a former scout with the Jets, broke down the draft needs of the NFC North recently, including the Lions. Weidl agrees with what I've written before. The Lions need help at wide receiver, cornerback and weakside linebacker -- although in my opinion the linebacker situation could be dictated by the defensive scheme of the new coach.
Weidl's concern -- and it is a valid one -- is that as of now there are no surefire elite cornerbacks in this draft. The closest would be Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State, as I wrote about the other day. Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State has the chance to be a riser as well, but isn't there yet.
Weidl also says if Sammy Watkins, the receiver from Clemson, is available at No. 10, Martin Mayhew should take a strong look at selecting him. Agreed here.
Whether he is there or not is the issue. Todd McShay has Watkins at No. 4 on his latest Top 32 and has USC'S Marqise Lee at No. 9 and Gilbert at No. 10. Also, he has linebackers Khalil Mack from Buffalo and C.J. Mosley from Alabama (not the C.J. Mosley who is a defensive lineman already on the Lions) as in his Top 10. Considering the quarterback needs at the top of the draft, at least one of those players should fall to the Lions.
For what it's worth, if the Lions end up with the linebacker Mosley, writers and editors everywhere will have to figure out a Mosley system for notation in stories after first references.
Meanwhile, Mel Kiper Jr. moved Watkins up to No. 6 on his Big Board with Lee at No. 14 and Mike Evans from Texas A&M at No. 15. Gilbert is No. 16 and Dennard is No. 19.
Those are the names to watch for now, but that will surely change over the next four months until the draft.
And now a search around the Interwebs for Lions news:
Dave Birkett writes that Trent Dilfer says whoever Detroit hires needs to rein in Matthew Stafford.
John Niyo from the Detroit News writes why Whisenhunt might be the right guy for Detroit.