We’re into the afternoon on draft day and the Kansas City Chiefs still haven’t given any indication who they will select first overall. Consensus seems to be building that it will be Eric Fisher but no one knows for sure. With so little (more like nothing) set in stone and a lack of sure-fire elite prospects, specific things to watch for are harder than ever to pin down.
Even so, here are some things to watch for that will be important to the Lions tonight:
- Hearing the words “there has been a trade” before the Lions get on the clock is most likely bad news. The best value at the top of this draft is in the offensive tackles so a team trading up is likely doing so to take one. That takes one out of play for the Lions.
- With or without a trade happening in the first four picks, the Lions worst-case scenario is that Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Lane Johnson and Ziggy Ansah are all off the board. As long as at least one name called ahead of the Lions picks is different from that list, the Lions will have some options to play with.
- Speaking of Lane Johnson…while I don’t favor him as the pick like I do with Fisher or Joeckel, Martin Mayhew shouldn’t be criticized too heavily if Johnson is the pick. Yes, it would be the third pick at that position within the first five picks of the draft but consensus seems to be building that he would be worth it. Tyler Oberly compiled some interesting data for The Sideline View based on the drafts since 2004 and found that the six Pro Bowl tackles selected in the first round shared traits in size, arm length, 40 time and bench press reps. All three tackles rumored to be at the top of draft boards fit this profile.
- The Lions haven’t been shy about trading up in the first or second rounds in recent years, could they do it again? It wouldn’t be out of the question if they don’t get a pass rusher with their first pick and see one they really like falling. They were able to build some depth and add some developmental players a year ago so this draft should be about adding impact players. It may take an aggressive move or two to accomplish that task.
- Also keep an eye on what happens with the quarterbacks. If they go earlier than expected that means other prospects are getting pushed down the board. If a minimal number of quarterbacks go in the first round it may be that teams are more comfortable taking a quarterback in round two. That could cause a trade market to develop for picks near the top of the second round.