Detroit Lions: Receiver is a need, but not at seventh overall

Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Finding a cornerstone to build upon

There are many directions the Lions can go with their top selection, the seventh overall pick. Maybe Detroit will have their quarterback of the future waiting for them when they get on the clock.

Perhaps they might have a defensive building block on the board who will not only become a play-maker for a unit that desperately needs one but maybe he will become the Lions defensive leader as well.

There is no end of needs the Lions have. Virtually every position is open for debate.

However, when we’re debating which player or position the Lions should select, we need to be conscientious of the fact that top 10 picks aren’t just about filling holes. If your team has a top 10 pick this the opportunity to select the best of the best at a position that can be a cornerstone for a championship contender.

If we look at what traditionally constitutes that type of cornerstone, there are three positions that stand head and shoulders above all others. Ironically enough they are all sort of related too.

The first is of course a franchise quarterback. Super Bowl champions rarely have anything shy of an elite or Hall of Fame quarterback. Names like Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, and Tom Brady are synonymous with championships.

Meanwhile, we don’t think about Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson in that same breath. As a matter of fact, they own rings because of how good their respective defenses played. Both the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were carried to championship status by outstanding defenses that strangled the life out of their opponents.

This leads us to our second building block position. Edge rusher. While quarterback is the most important position on the field, the ability to disrupt opposing passers is the greatest weapon a defense has at its disposal. Team’s that have a dominant edge rusher or dominant overall pass-rush have the ability to win games.

The third and final building block position is left tackle. Generally speaking, most teams line up their best pass-rusher on the quarterbacks’ blind side. Most quarterbacks are right-handed so that means that the left tackle usually has the most pressure on him to keep the quarterback on his feet so he can light up the defense.

The symmetry of those positions and their basic importance to any game plan for any team outlines why they are the most important positions to have franchise players manning them.