The Detroit Lions were able to quickly fill some glaring holes thanks to the free agency period that officially opened last week. They have their replacement for Jahvid Best in Reggie Bush, defensive line help in Jason Jones and an upgrade at safety in Glover Quin.
Taking care of those needs seems to open up the Lions’ possibilities with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Filling some holes via free agency and the retirement of Jeff Backus has made drafting an offensive tackle in the first round more palatable for a lot of Lions fans. But what happens in Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are both off the board by the time the Lions pick?
That’s the scenario that presented itself in the latest mock draft on FanSided.com. In that case, FanSided’s Josh Hill has the Lions taking BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Hill explains:
Detroit lost both of their defensive ends from 2012 as Kyle Vanden Bosch was cut and Cliff Avril took a deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Ansah is being compared to Aldon Smith and he fits right in with the young defensive line the Lions are piecing together. Offensive line is an option here too but Ansah is too good to pass up. The Lions picked up Jason Jones in free agency, which means they can plug Ansah right in and have two of the best young defensive ends in the game.
The explanation oversells Jason Jones a bit, but the point holds true. The Lions’ defense is predicated on their defensive line playing well and adding a physical talent like Ansah has to be tempting. The pick wouldn’t be without risk. Ansah is a newcomer to the game of football and isn’t as polished as one would expect a top-five pick to be. Of course, that also means he hasn’t had as much time to develop bad habits either.
While I would prefer one of the top two rated offensive tackles to fall to the Lions, I’m warming up to the idea of Ansah being the pick if not. There is a huge boom-or-bust factor with Ansah but the rookie wage scale put into place with the current collective bargaining agreement means the Lions won’t have to invest All-Pro money into the first contract like they had to do with so many players under the old system.
Check out the full first round mock at FanSided.com.