2nd round – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Lions need secondary help more than almost every other NFL team. Playing in the NFC North alone presents enough challenges on its own, what with the daunting tasks of facing Aaron Rodgers, Brandon Marshall, and Percy Harvin twice a year. Rhodes would instantly be one of the bigger cornerbacks in the league from day one.
Like Mayhew, Xavier Rhodes is a fellow Florida State cornerback. Unlike Mayhew, Rhodes has outstanding size and enough speed in the high 4.4 to low 4.5 ranges, to give Gunther Cunningham a legitimate option at one of the corner spots. He was a key part of the Seminoles top-three pass defense (161 ypg).
More than anything, it’s Rhodes versatility that makes him an ideal pick in the beginning of round two since his skill-set easily transfers over to free safety, for the perennially injured Louis Delmas or even strong safety since no one knows what the future holds for corner-turned-safety, Amari Spievey.
Regardless of what position he ultimately plays, he would fill a major need on this defense.
Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
His announcement last week that he will forego his senior year in Piscataway boosted an otherwise very average cornerback class.
This season, Ryan tallied four picks, 18 passes defended and, get this, 94 tackles! Ryan’s film shows what his outstanding statistics don’t—a sticky, physical defensive back with the speed to stay on the hip of opposing team’s fastest receiver. He reminds me somewhat of Janoris Jenkins, the cornerback the Lions missed out on last year, but with better size.
3rd round – Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Mississippi
Playing for one of the worst teams in the FBS didn’t do Jamie Collins draft profile any favors. As was the case with the 2012 Southern Miss Golden Eagles, which went 0-8 this season. However, the defensive back-turned-linebacker was a dominant force in the Conference USA. Collins was extremely productive this season racking up 92 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks. He also caused four fumbles. Collins is very athletic with nice speed to shadow a tight end or cover a running back out of the flat.
He flies to the ball and is a dependable wrap-up tackler with some extra pop in his explosion into ball carriers. While he played the hybrid bandit position this season he’ll play linebacker in the Senior Bowl.