It’s the day that many Detroit Lions fans consider to be their super bowl. This evening is the NFL draft. Through all the mock drafts and speculation everyone has argued and guessed who Martin Mayhew would select. Will the Lions trade up? Will the Lions go offense or defense? Will it be another wide receiver, or worse another defensive tackle? We’ll be watching all day, listening to talk radio, looking under rocks for clues and searching for any information we could possibly find. To be honest at this point, I doubt even Mayhew knows other than having a top 10 list on his draft board.
We did four mock drafts here at cover32.com and with those selections I got to pick for Detroit. I chose Sammy Watkins twice, Khalil Mack and Justin Gilbert once each. I’d be fairly happy if any of those players ended up in Detroit but as the day is finally here, I have hopes of another player altogether.
Watkins would make the Lions even stronger as an offense and could prepare the Lions for the inevitable decline of Calvin Johnson over the next five years. Johnson is not done, not even close, but every player declines and Watkins could help extend his career the way Torri Holt did for Isaac Bruce in St Louis.
Mack is my favorite player in this draft and I believe he will dominate wherever he goes. That being said, the cost of trading up for him will be too high for the Lions and there are no signs that the Lions have seriously considered him.
Gilbert at first glance was my most likely and preferred cornerback selection. While Gilbert will likely succeed as a zone scheme corner, the Lions apparently will play much more man to man coverage under new coordinator Teryl Austin.
The player who seems to be glaring at Mayhew and the Lions now is Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Dennard showed he is NFL ready by playing press man coverage at MSU while declaring a “no fly zone” on his side of the field. At first my initial thought was to stay away from local players because the sting of Charles Rogers is still there. I still believe if the Lions reached and made a terrible mistake by drafting offensive tackle Taylor Lewan from Michigan that his problems may carry over, there are no signs of that being the case with Dennard.
Dennard fits the Lions needs, plays the style Austin intends to use and proved himself throughout his time at MSU as part of national championship contending defense. You can make arguments for a number of players, but now that all the guessing is done, Dennard is my hope for the Lions in the 2014 draft today.