The Detroit Lions approach the NFL Draft as an opportunity to add talent for the long-term. This has resulted in a lot of talk of “best player available” and some heartburn from fans when they take another offensive skill player over a defensive player at a perceived position of need.
But it sure is nice when a rookie can step in and make an impact on day one. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah recently identified seven players he believe can have an instant impact on their team. One happens to be a Detroit Lions draft pick, although it may not be the first name to come to mind:
4) Darius Slay, CB, Detroit Lions: The Lions selected defensive end Ziggy Ansah with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but I believe another rookie defender will have a bigger impact in Detroit. Slay is incredibly explosive (4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash) and has impressive ball skills, as evidenced by his five interceptions last fall. He should nail down a starting position during training camp, and I expect him to improve throughout his rookie season. I won’t be surprised if Slay matches the five picks he recorded during his final college campaign.
The Lions expect Ansah, Slay and Larry Warford to have an immediate impact and the expectation that Sam Martin will win the punting job makes for four rookies who will help determine the fate of the 2013 Lions.
The importance of any of the Lions top three to be the most impactful can be argued since defensive end, cornerback and guard all three areas in need of improvement over 2012. But which Lions rookie figures to be most impactful? Have your say in the poll below.
Which rookie will have the biggest impact for the Lions?
- Ziggy Ansah (37%, 62 Votes)
- Darius Slay (26%, 44 Votes)
- Larry Warford (19%, 32 Votes)
- Sam Martin (10%, 17 Votes)
- Devin Taylor (6%, 10 Votes)
- Other (Fuller, Riddick, Williams or Hepburn) (2%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 167