Apr 28, 2011; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces defensive tackle Nick Fairley (Auburn) as the number thirteen overall pick to the Detroit Lions in the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Lions 2012 NFL Draft: What to Watch For in Round One

There is a lot of intrigue surrounding this year’s draft for the Detroit Lions with the team picking much further down the draft than they have in quite some time.

I’ve been asked several times what I think the Lions will do at 23 and my standard answer is that it’s impossible to guess without knowing how the draft board falls ahead of them. A story will unfold from picks one to 22 that will determine what happens with the Lions’ pick.

Here are some things to watch for as the Lions’ pick approaches.

  • Every year there are players that unexpectedly fall down draft boards. The Lions were the beneficiaries of Nick Fairley’s fall out of the top-ten a year ago and could find themselves in a similar situation this year. Defensive end Nick Perry and offensive tackle Riley Reiff are two players that have spent a lot of the draft season going ahead of the Lions in mock drafts but could be available as a result of a draft day drop. Every surprise pick in ahead of the Lions means the rest of the draft prospects get knocked down a rung.
  • Reports are starting to surface that the Lions are very interested in moving up to bolster their secondary. The cost to move up for Morris Claiborne or Stephon Gilmore may be too great but the team is reportedly eyeing Alabama safety Mark Barron and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Would they move up the ten or so spots it would take to get Barron or a couple spots to ensure they land Kirkpatrick? Maybe.
  • Fans of the Lions trading down on draft day should keep an eye on players ideally suited for a 3-4 defense. The Lions’ pick is followed by a large contingent of 3-4 teams and making a deal with the Lions would vault a team to the head of the pack.

I’m excited to see how it plays out and hope you join me for a live chat during tonight’s coverage of the first round. Use the box below to set up a reminder or just come back to SideLion Report around draft time.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Detroit Lions

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