The 2011 NFL Draft is right around the corner and there are conversations happening everywhere relating to one big question. That question would be the following: Who should the Lions select in the first round of the draft?
Most make the case that a cornerback is the biggest need and therefore a cornerback is who they should select. Some talk about the Lions need to protect their franchise quarterback and address that by selecting an offensive tackle. Both lines of thought make sense. It all depends on who is on (or off) the draft board when they pick.
It will be a no-brainer for the Lions if Prince Amukamara is on the board at No. 13. Therein lies the problem, most insiders do not think he will be there and if he is not then the Lions have a big decision to make.
If they decide to take a tackle then it tells us a few things. Mainly it says that the Lions may be concerned about how Gosder Cherilus’s recovery from off-season micro fracture surgery is going, especially if they take USC’s TyRon Smith.
Smith played right tackle at USC and is talked about as a guy who could play the right side for a year or two and get moved to the left side (see Michael Oher in Baltimore). Smith would upgrade their offensive line immediately. Other tackles being talked about are Colorado’s Nate Solder, Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo and Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi.
I think there is one more option that almost no one is discussing and that is the selection of a defensive end, another Lion to get to the opposing quarterback. The Lions defensive line is scary good right now, but they can get better. Getting better at the defensive line will actually help the cornerback play and make that position less of a priority.
The addition of Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt, California’s Cameron Jordan, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan or Missouri’s AlDon Smith could turn a defensive line that some considered dominant into the league’s best and scariest line. There is simply no way to stop what that line would present. An inside rotation of Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Sammie Lee Hill and Andre Fluellen is stout.
On the outside players like Cliff Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Lawrence Jackson will get to the quarterback. Throwing in one of this draft’s best defensive ends and I think you have a lights out combination of speed on the outside and power on the inside.
It seems like it is breaking down to cornerback Prince Amukamara, an offensive tackle or a defensive end for the Lions in round 1. One is a no-brainer, one is a safe move to help protect a huge asset and one could be a bit of a gamble that could pay huge dividends. In my opinion, April 28th can’t get here soon enough.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Aldon Smith Andre Fluellen Anthony Castonzo Cameron Jordan Cliff Avril Corey Williams Detroit Lions Gabe Carimi Gosder Cherilus J.J. Watt Kyle Vanden Bosch Lawrence Jackson Michael Oher Nate Solder Ndamukong Suh Prince Amukamara Ryan Kerrigan Tyron Smith