There isn't any OT worth a top 20 pick this year. There may be one or two taken (reached for) in the first round, but I don't see any worth taking where the Lions will be picking.
Unless free agency brings in an elite LT, I don't see an improvement over Backus next year. On the other hand, I think Fox could be the LT of the future and may be a Gosder Cherilus replacement sooner rather than later.
This is a great year to get a center and maybe all the Raiola haters will get in line and call for his replacement in the 2nd or 3rd round. At this point in time, I see Peterman as utterly replaceable. And there will be guys able to start at OG available well into the 4th round. And any center drafted could fill in at OG at first.
The run on CBs will start early, and the Lions will be in a position to get the best to come out in a while, and a definite #1 CB. Chris Houston and Alphonso Smith are pretty good players, better than anyone the Lions have had in a few years, but you really can't have enough CBs. And the Lions don't have any depth behind Houston and Smith. Patrick Peterson is an elite player and is top 3-5 worthy. Other CBs: Prince Amukamara, Brandon Harris and Janoris Jenkins are only a 1/2 step down from Peterson and would be #1 CBs almost anywhere they go. Though Amukamara is widely considered the best of those three, I like Brandon Harris just a bit better. They may not be top 5 worthy, but they should all go in the top 15.
LB is a huge need for the Lions. Julian Peterson is going to earn $7+ M and IMO hasn't earned it. I don't see how they can afford to bring him back. We don't know if Zach Follett will be able to come back from his neck injury. Jordan Dizon may also be a non-factor. Admittedly DeAndre Levy has looked very good at MLB, but while it would be nice to keep him in the middle he is versatile enough he can play any LB position and they desperately need somebody who can sniff out screens and plays to the outside. And in this draft there just are not an over-abundance of OLBs, but there are however several MLBs I've watched who I really like. (One caveat: OLB is a position you can find gems from the smaller schools (who I haven't been watching) and from some of the bigger schools who aren't asked to do some things that the Lions would ask of an OLB. So, with good scouting you can find gems later on, say 3rd-6th rounds. And I trust Mayhew and his scouts to find a couple gems.)
The draft, with juniors included, has good quality at CB, DE, WR, & OC. The quality isn't elite (but is pretty good) and there is good depth at OT, OG, MLB, QB & RB. At S there isn't an elite player, but there are a few very good guys, but the depth isn't great. Depth & Quality at OLB, DT, TE, FB is thin.
I rank the Lion needs (0=all set/no need -- 4-6=need back-up, 10=need an immediate starter): WOLB: 10, SOLB: 8 FS/SS: 7, CB:7, DE:4, MLB: 4, DT:1 // OG: 9, WR(#3): 8, OT: 7 FB/RB: 5, OC:5, QB:3, TE:0.
QB RB TE OT OC
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