Why tight end is not the Detroit Lions biggest draft need

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Despite what the media and some fans think, if the Detroit Lions use their first pick in the draft for their biggest need, it won’t be a tight end.

There are several different directions the Detroit Lions could go when the draft opens in just a couple of weeks, but because of the work they have done in free agency, they don’t have to go a particular direction.

This doesn’t mean the Lions don’t have needs, it just means they have put themselves in a position to have options.

While out watching the barn-burning completion of March Madness the other night, one of my friends mentioned how he thought the Lions needed to use their first pick on a tight end.

I pointed out that while I agreed that the position was especially moribund last season, the addition of Jesse James pretty much meant that they didn’t have to use their top pick on a tight end. Sure James won’t be mistaken for John Mackey, Kellen Winslow, Shannon Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez or even the Lions own Charlie Sanders, all of who reside in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he is a solid blocker and a very serviceable receiver.

Now I would not be against the Lions deciding to take T.J. Hockenson with their top pick, but I would prefer they trade down first.

That’s because I think the number eight pick is too high to use on a tight end. That’s nothing against Hockenson, who may very well be the safest pick in the draft. He is a plus blocker, has outstanding hands and runs solid routes and is a high motor player. Everything you could ask for in a tight end.

Just call it my personal preference not to go tight end that high. Not to mention trading down would also allow the Lions to add to their gaggle of draft picks.

But as I mentioned to my friend, if the Lions stay put at number eight and draft for need, then it won’t be a tight end. It would most likely be to fill the hole at right guard.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse