Oct 27, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Ezekiel Ansah (right) prepares to sack Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Tevin Washington (13) during the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: It's Becoming Obvious Who the Detroit Lions Will Take

Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Central Michigan offensive lineman Eric Fisher speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With 17 days left until the almighty draft, we are entering the home stretch and the smoke is starting to clear as to who the Detroit Lions will draft with the 5th pick in the first round. It’s apparent to the ardent draftnik that the Lions will likely select either Eric Fisher (Tackle, Central Michigan) or Ziggy Ansah (Defensive End, BYU). Dee Milliner (Cornerback, Alabama), Lane Johnson (Tackle, Oklahoma) or Dion Jordan (Defensive End, Oregon) have outside chances of being selected if Fisher and Ansah are gone by the time the Lions pick.

Mel Kiper just came out with his latest mock draft and has the Lions taking CB Dee Milliner with Eric Fisher still on the board. Sorry Mel, I love you and your hair but you don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. There is no way Martin Mayhew is going to take a corner over a franchise left tackle. Mayhew invested three picks in corners last year and only one played any significant time. He’s going to see what he has in those guys, plus he seems to think corners are a dime a dozen. Deion Sanders was a number 5 pick and that’s about the right stuff for a top five pick. The Lions tried picking a corner at 5 in 1997 and ended up with one-contract-and-done Bryant Westbrook.

NFL guru Gil Brandt was once asked, “if you’re starting a team from scratch, obviously your first choice to build a football team is to take a quarterback. What position would you take second?” Brandt answered quickly “A left tackle.” I’ve been reading the Lions forums from fans and a lot of them are assuming that the Lions already have a left tackle in Riley Reiff so pass on Fisher and take the best DE on the board. Pro Football Focus has stats for every conceivable thing you could imagine associated with playing football. They even have one that figures out a lineman’s grade. They had a good overall rating for Reiff for the year at a +6.3. During the two weeks he spent at Left tackle, his rating was a -4.7. It is a very small sample size but that explains the “rumors” of Reiff being switched over to guard. If Reiff was a sure-fire left tackle he wouldn’t have slid so the Lions could take him at 23 in last year’s draft.

The biggest question of the draft for the Lions is if Fisher is going to even be there for the Lions at 5. The Kansas City Chiefs seem committed to tackle Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M with the first pick, Jacksonville and Oakland are probably thinking defense when it’s their turn to pick. The big question is what is Philadelphia going to do with the 4th pick?

If the Eagles don’t take Fisher, then the Lions will have to decide between him or Ziggy Ansah. Even if Fisher is the most logical pick for the Lions, Mayhew has shown his intentions of building a dominant defensive front line. Adding the athletic Ansah to the money already invested in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley might make a lot of sense to Mayhew.

I really don’t think it’s much of a decision here for the Lions. Jeff Backus did the Lions a huge favor retiring before the draft. If Eric Fisher is there, the Lions should run not walk to the podium with that card. I would sleep a lot better knowing that the Lions have Matthew Stafford‘s back for the rest of his career.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Detroit Lions Eric Fisher Ezekiel Ansah

  • Chris Wyman

    Ok, Here’s a few facts for you that will help this decision be much easier and why CHANCE WARMACK will be drafted by the Lions.

    #1 The Lions Martin Mayhew began the off season speaking about interior pressure and then a few days later he released RG Peterman. Insert Chance Warmack.

    #2 During the offseason after Jeff Backus retired the question was asked, “is Riley Reiff an OT or a guard?” Mayhew’s answer: He is multidimensional player and we drafted him so that we could select the BPA in this years draft. Insert Chance Warmack.

    #3 The Lions have always drafted the BPA instead of need under Martin Mayhew. Mike Mayock calls Chance Warmack the Best Player in this years draft. Insert Chance Warmack.

    #4 Jim Schwartz wants an impact player and doesn’t care what position that comes from. Warmack is considered a 10 year starter at RG, a 10 year starter is an impact player in my book, so again we insert Chance Warmack.

    #5 In interviews Chance Warmack sounds eerily similar to Nick Fairley. If Nick Fairley was doing an interview on the radio and I told you that you were listening to Chance Warmack it would be totally believable. Check it out for yourself. For real! They both were born and raised in Alabama and Warmack played with Cam Newton in high school. A couple of meatheads if you ask me. Warmack would be lining up across from (meathead) Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh in practice, so insert (meathead) Chance Warmack on the Lions offensive line.

    And I could go on and on! And so I will…

    #6 Considering we haven’t been able to run the football since Barry Sanders left and considering we haven’t run the football against anyone other than the Carolina Panthers… insert Chance Warmack.

    #7 but WAIT lol let’s get back to Reiff. After Reiff was drafted it was widely considered a move to replace Backus after he retired. Let’s not forget that. And let’s not forget that Mayhew spoke glowingly of two players for most of last season. One was DE Willie Young who they winded up tendering with a 2nd round pick this year and the other was Reiff who they continually spoke of as a LT. That’s right, they drafted Reiff to be the future at LT, so insert RG Chance warmack.

    #8 Mayhew stressed the importance of not swinging for the fences with their pick and selecting someone who could get them on base. Insert (drum roll) Chance Warmack.

    WARMACK SMASH! The #5 pick in Thursday’s (Thor’s Day) draft is going to be Chance Warmack.