Rookies on the Lions’ radar

With the 2014 NFL Draft less than 24 hours away, many Lions fans across the state are anxious to see who the Lions are going to pick with the tenth pick in this year’s draft. There is no doubt that the Lions need help in numerous positions. Based on those needs here a few players that might fill in the blank to the phrase: “With the tenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Detroit Lions select _________.”

One area where the Lions are extremely short at is in the secondary. Last year, the Lions ranked 23 in opposing passing yardage, allowing an average of 246.9 yards thrown against them. Not to mention the Lions play in the NFC North and have to play two games against the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears who each have good quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler respectively. This means the Lions could potentially use their first pick on a corner back. One corner back that was ranked very high in college is corner back Darqueze Dennard. Last year, Dennard played cornerback at Michigan State University where he dominated his competition. Dennard is a very good lock down corner who can go up against a lot of wide receivers due to his physical play.

“I think it would be good if they take Dennard with their first pick because they need a lot of help in the secondary and they haven’t had a lock down corner in a very long time,” senior Kevin Scott said.

Another area where the Lions need help is at the wide receiver position. Some fans think they don’t need help at wide receiver because they have arguably the best wide receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson. But the reality is they need to draft another wide receiver to take the pressure off of Johnson and to prevent him from getting double and tripled teamed. Johnson is coming off a good season where he caught 84 balls for 1492 yards and 12 touchdowns.

However, the next leading receiver on team was running back Joique Bell who had nearly half the amount of the receptions as Calvin and for nearly half the yardage. The best receiver in the draft is Sammy Watkins out of Clemson University. Watkins is a very explosive wide receiver who can create a lot of yards after the catch. Last year at Clemson, Watkins caught a total of 101 balls for 1464 yards and 12 touchdowns. Due to Watkins being such a high coveted wide receiver he might get picked before the Lions have the chance to draft. Another solid receiver in this year’s draft is Mike Evans out of Texas A and M. Evans is a big target at 6’5 and 225 pounds. He is also coming off a very successful year at Texas A&M where he had 69 receptions, 1394 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“If Sammy Watkins isn’t there by the tenth pick I think the Lions should take Mike Evans because he is a big target for Stafford and he will help take some of the pressure off of Calvin,” Scott said.

If the Lions aren’t looking to take a corner back or a wide receiver they might be looking into taking a safety. As mentioned before, the Lions desperately need help in the secondary and that includes the safety position. They also didn’t resign one of their starting safeties from last year (Louis Delmas). If this is the case, Detroit might take safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix. Dix, was the starting safety for the University of Alabama last season. His game also translates very well to the National Football League (NFL) for many reasons. First of all, standing at 6’1 and 208 pounds he has the necessary size and strength in order to succeed at the safety position in the NFL. Also, because he played at the University of Alabama he played under head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. Saban and Smart run a defensive scheme that is very similar to the schemes that are ran in the NFL. This means Dix has been accustomed to a pro-style defense before and this will make his transition to the NFL that much easier.

“If the Lions are going to take a safety I think they should take Ha Ha Clinton Dix just because he is the best safety available and he will probably still be available at 10th pick,” senior Mark Debney said.

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James Volk

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