The Lions are going to have several appealing choices when they get on the clock with the fifth overall pick on the first night of the draft (April 25).
One of three elite-level left tackle prospects could be there - Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M, Eric Fisher from Central Michigan or Lane Johnson from Oklahoma. The best cornerback in the draft could be there — Dee Milliner from Alabama. One of three elite-level defensive ends could also be there — Jarvis Jones from Georgia, Bjoern Werner from Florida State and Damontre Moore from Texas A&M.
General manager Martin Mayhew made it clear at his postseason press conference that finding playmakers on defense would be a priority.
So the question put to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper on Wednesday was: If the Lions decided to draft an offensive tackle or cornerback with the fifth pick, would they still be able to find an immediate-impact defensive end in the second round?
Kiper's answer seemed to indicate they could not.
"They could, but it depends on how the whole thing falls," he said, then proceeded to list a number of prospects who would be considered projects or even reaches in the second round.
In Kiper's current mock draft, he has six pass rushers (defensive end-outside linebacker) going in the first round — Moore (2), Jones (5 to Detroit), Werner (6), Dion Jordan from Oregon (9), Barkevious Mingo from LSU (10) and Ezekiel Ansah from BYU (17).
On Kiper's board, as well as on several others, there is a big dropoff after that. Here are the players Kiper mentioned as defensive end possibilities for the Lions in the second round:
Corey Lemonier, Auburn. After recording 9.5 sacks as a sophomore, his productivity fell off. He had 5.5 sacks last season, only a half-sack in the final eight weeks. "He's probably a second- or third-round guy," Kiper said.
Sam Montgomery, LSU. Ranked 27th by Scouts, Inc. "He doesn't have the great burst off the edge that a guy like Mingo has, or the great closing speed," Kiper said. "But he tests well and was more productive than Mingo. He could be a late first-round, early second-round guy."
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130213/SPORTS0101/302130432#ixzz2KtGwBRz5
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