This week’s SportsNation chat is the gift that keeps on giving. Joe of Detroit asked the question many Lions fans are considering: “If you are the Lions GM and say Suh is off the board. Who are you drafting?”
The Lions currently stand at No. 2 in our speculative order for selecting in the 2010 draft. I actually think it’s possible Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh could be available if the Lions hold at No. 2. With St. Louis positioned ahead of them, a quarterback could be the No. 1 overall pick. But if Joe’s scenario is right, who are the early favorites to be taken in the next few slots?
I’ll add the standard disclaimer that the draft evaluation process doesn’t begin in earnest until next month, when the college all-star games begin. But as I’ve written before, it’s never too early for media speculation!
During our chat, I suggested Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy or Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry. If all things were equal, I would say the Lions would benefit most from a big-time defensive tackle. The No. 2 overall pick is awfully high to pick a safety, unless you think he can play cornerback.
But don’t take my word for it. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. updated his Big Board on Tuesday. You'll need an Insider subscription to view the entire list, but here is his current listing of the draft's top five players:
4. Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen
5. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford
ESPN’s Scouts Inc. takes a different view, so let’s take a look at their top five players as well:
4. Florida cornerback Joe Haden
5. Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan
It’s important to note the three common denominators: Suh, McCoy and Berry. As the final days of 2009 dwindle away, that trio should be your early target for inspection.