Dec 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz (center) during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field. Falcons won 31-18. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Have Nothing To Gain By Keeping Fifth Pick In The 2013 NFL Draft

It’s no secret that dynasties and championship teams are build through the draft. Each year, teams find players in the middle and late rounds that turn into starters and Pro Bowl players. The same could be said about about drafting in the first round – the most sure-fire way to get a player to help improve your team immediately. Teams that miss in the draft, whether it be first round or the middle and late rounds, tend to not be playing in January. That’s why it’s so important the Lions strike gold in every draft, particularly this one after suffering a 4-12 season.

Looking at possible prospects that are projected in the top five: Geno Smith, Bjoern Werner, Luke Joeckel, Jarvis Jones, Star Lotulelei, Domontre Moore, and Barkevious Mingo, only one player stands out from other potential prospects at their respective positions, Luke Joeckel. Odds are Joeckel is off the board by the fifth pick with the Chiefs and the Eagles potential destinations for him. That leaves the Lions looking at pass rushers – the only position of need for the Lions that warrant a top five pick to this point. Some might argue in favor for Bjoern Werner or Domontre Moore, or even Barkevious Mingo, for the Lions, but none of these options makes sense for the Lions at five with the 2013 draft class stocked full of pass rushers with high ceilings. Lets take a look at Bjoern Werner, possibly the first pass rusher off the board, and pass rusher Ezekial Ansah, a mid to late first round projected pick. All stats are courtesy of CBS Sports.

Size: Bjoern Werner: 6’4″ 256, Ezikel Ansah: 6’5″ 270

Speed: Werner: 4.78, Ansah: 4.74


Werner: Started playing football at 15 and has started two full seasons for the Seminoles. Werner Tallied 35 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, 18 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, two fumble recovers. What’s most impressive from a potential standpoint is Werner did most of his damage during his final season at FSU after dropping 20 lbs. Werner could just be tapping into his potential and speed off the edge with his more athletic body after dropping the extra weight.

Ansah: Only started in nine games this season, but played in all 13 recording 13 tackles for loss, eight pass break ups, six quarterback hurries and 4.5 sacks. Not quite the resume you’d like in your first round pick, especially with only one season of film, but considering his teammate Kyle Van Noy recorded 13.5 sacks, you could say defenses probably focused most of their efforts on containing Ansah. Scouts will also like the versatility Ansah will bring. BYU used Ansah at both end positions, all three linebacking positions, and even nose tackle. Ansah joined BYU as a member of the track team, and just completed only his third season ever playing football.

Werner may be the better player now, but he has nothing on Ansah’s size, speed, athleticism, explosiveness, and potential. Scouts also think Ansah has room to add to his 6’5″ 270 lbs frame without losing his speed and quickness. The Lions could improve with both players, but they could use the extra picks in the earlier rounds and drafting a player with the potential like Ansah would be hard to argue by fans and would make more sense for the Lions scheme as defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham covets speed rushers on the outside of his defensive line. In case you didn’t notice, Ansah is outweighs Werner by 20 lbs and still has a faster 4o time. Impressive considering Ansah could add even more weight to his frame without losing his explosiveness.

The Lions also need to address their biggest position of need, the secondary, early in the draft. The highest rated secondary player, Dee Milliner, may not be drafted in the top 10. With so much pass rushing talent flooded in the first and early second round, and not one secondary player projected in the top 10, and Luke Joeckel likely off the board before the fifth pick, why would the Lions stay at five?

It’s a long way until the 2013 draft with the NFL combine over a month away. Players will rise and fall as they always do, but it’s looking like there isn’t much the Lions can gain by sitting at the fifth pick in the draft come April. As the Lions scout the prospects, they would be wise also be looking for ways to move down and accumulate more quality picks.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Detroit Lions

  • Tyler R Riggs

    I rarely raise one eyebrow and nod slowly in agreement when I read an article, but I totally just did right now.

    I’m with you. I agree that the Lions can get players that they need with much better value by trading back, but how likely is it? If Joeckel is off the board then who would even WANT to move up that far?

    We never hear about the trades that teams wanted to pull off but couldnt. I think its likely the Lions are stuck at #5, whether they want it or not.

  • braden shackelford

    You have a great point. Every year there is a qb that rises up the draft boards come April. Hopefully that’s the case for the lions. Also, its possible that teams drafting 6-10 fall in love wit d.Moore or b. Werner. I think one way or another the lions pull off a trade and draft back. Hopefully its in the middle or back end of the draft and the lions acquire a second second round pick because there is a lot of talent in the back end of the first round and tip end of the second

  • Oprk

    They could definitely use Eric Fisher, baaadly.

  • James McPeek

    1. Warmack G at #5

    When was the last time you saw a Guard in the top 10 pick.. its been a long time.. WE NEED BIG DADDY WARMACK.. That guy is a bulldozer…

    2. Barret Jones C or DJ Fluker OT

    Barret jones is the best center that can make huge holes and is a leader and calls out plays.. Fluker is much like warmack he is a bulldozer just like reiff

    3. Tyrann Mathieu CB/KR/PR

    We must get the honey badger.. Think about it.. M. Claireborne T.Mathieu Patrick Peterson…. He intercepts the ball and causes fumbles… he is a playmaker and is a very dangerous kick returner… alot of teams are thinking about him here anyways thinking that we dont know already he is that compared to Antoine Winfield.. and thats not a bad thing.. is it? except did i ever see winfield return kicks-offs and punts for touchdowns? or rip the ball out of recievers and running backs hands like a thief in the night.. No…we gotta get the honey badger.. trust me.. we need him.. even if the scouts rate him low on the poll that dont mean a thing.. this guy has alot of swag.

  • bobdd

    Safety yes, cornerback no. Didn’t we draft enough of them last year? How many of them do you want to cut before giving them a chance so they can help some other team after we developed them?