Jeff Risdon, DLD Editor
With Thursday in the books, the attention turns to the second and third rounds. The Lions pick fourth in the second round and third in the third round, and both picks offer potential to select some very useful players.
Potential fits at the #36 pick:
Terron Armstead, T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff. I know the Lions like his potential and he is my prediction for the pick, as the Lions cannot afford to watch any more linemen shoot off the board if they are serious about taking one. He’s not ready to start right away, but the Lions already have a bridge in place with Jason Fox at left tackle. His athletic potential is outstanding and he was better than Ansah during Senior Bowl practices.
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State. He’s shorter than ideal, but Taylor was a top 20 talent on our draft board and his aggressive style certainly fits what the Lions like to do with their corners. This pick would probably make me the happiest of any decision they could choose.
Robert Woods, WR, USC. The most polished of the remaining wideouts and arguably the best fit because he understands already how to play as a complementary player to a freakish star.
Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech. If the Lions are willing to roll the dice on a player with some unsavory character marks, Rogers as a physical talent is a better prospect than Titus Young, the man who he would ostensibly be replacing on the roster.
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International. He unexpectedly slid out of the first round and would make a great value pick at 36. Detroit has two solid starting safeties, but with Louis Delmas unreliable and Glover Quin’s versatility, adding a talent like Cyprien is not a bad idea.
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State. The top LB on our overall board fell because of perceived durability issues, but he’s bigger than both Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner, two exceptional rookies from last year. The Lions don’t typically value the linebacker position this highly and the just made commitments to DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch, but Brown might offer too much to bypass.
Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State. His ACL tear apparently scared teams enough to overlook his phenomenal personal workout last week. It’s gluttonous to use both a first and a second at the same position, but seeing as how the Lions rely so heavily on their defensive line to bring pressure it’s not a bad idea to double dip on dynamic ends.
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama. If the Lions want to bolster the beef quotient behind Suh & Fairley, the eccentric Aussie fits the bill. This is higher than I would prefer to see him taken, but as his facial tattoo reads, YOLO.
Picks to avoid:
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee. I’ve used this line before but it bears repeating: The primary function of a wide receiver is to catch the football. Justin Hunter cannot do that, period. His drop rate of 12% makes Jermichael Finley’s hands seem like Cris Carter.
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU. I sincerely doubt the Lions are interested after taking Ansah, but The Eastern Block lacks a definable position. You don’t use a top 50 pick on a guy whose best NFL attribute is blocking a field goal every other game.
Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame. I am not a Te’o hater, far from it in fact. But he is not a good stylistic fit for Detroit’s defense. The baggage he brings is another unnecessary headache for a franchise that has sent fans gulping for pain killers far too often in recent times.
Third round potential picks:
It’s downright impossible to figure out who exactly will be available when the Lions pick at the 65 spot, but here are some names to watch.
Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn. Another athletic edge rusher I know the Lions favor, though I personally am not a fan of his alarming lack of production against any good players or teams.
Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State. Skinny downfield burner who impressed during Senior Bowl week. I’m not nearly as big of a fan of Wheaton as many in the draft community (I called him Taylor Price 2.0) but this is the acceptable draft range for the Beaver.
Larry Warford, G, Kentucky. I highly doubt he falls given the absurd run on offensive linemen, but if he is still on the board Warford is a much better NFL guard prospect than either Justin Pugh or Kyle Long, both of whom went in the first round.
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas. Unfairly knocked for playing on one of the worst-coached defenses in college football history, Okafor would make a nice, physical bookend with Ansah that can grow together. His ability to drop into the flat is underrated.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn. Like Justin Hunter, 2013 will be his second season after ACL surgery, typically the time frame when players are back to full gallop. Wreh-Wilson rankd higher on our final corner board than 1st round pick Xavier Rhodes and brings excellent size and physicality to the table.
Players to avoid:
David Amerson, DB, North Carolina State. His egregious coverage skills are no small part of why Justin Hunter will go in the high second round, and he’s not nearly physical enough to transition to safety. Ignore the prolific INT total from his junior year as fool’s gold.
Any RB not named Johnathan Franklin. I doubt the Lions are interested in a RB this early, but if they choose one it had better be someone who pushes Joique Bell off the roster. Franklin is the only conceivable choice at this point who does that right away.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina or Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia. To steal a line, both look like Tarzan but play like the Disney version of Tarzan. Washington’s name probably belongs in the “players to avoid” in the second round as he could conceivably go that high. I prefer Taylor here because at least he appears to care.
Tags: Alex Okafor, Arthur Brown, Corey Lemonier, Cornelius Washington, Da'Rick Rogers, David Amerson, Devin Taylor, Jamar Taylor, Jonathan Cyprien, Justin Hunter, Larry Warford, Manti Te'o, margus hunt, Robert Woods, Terron Armstead