One of the great wild cards of almost every 2014 NFL mock draft is the Detroit Lions. Here is a look at what they could do in May.
#10 – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – FS – Alabama
A key fact to remember is that new Lions defensive coordinator was a defensive back as a player and coached the secondary at the college and pro levels. So it makes perfect sense for the team to favor that area of the defense, especially considering it needs help there anyway. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should be able to instantly replace Louis Delmas and give the team a greater presence against the pass.
#45 – Scott Crichton – DE – Oregon State
Martin Mayhew loves stockpiling defensive linemen. After losing Willie Young to Chicago he’ll want to find a replacement. Scott Crichton has the size, strength and motor to make a superb compliment to Ziggy Ansah. A real tone-setter.
#76 – Rashaad Reynolds – CB – Oregon State
The great thing about 4-3 defenses is they don’t require bigger corners to function. Rashaad Reynolds gets overlooked for being 5’10” but he’s a tremendous athlete who pesters receivers and showed at OregonState that he has a nose for the football.
#111 – Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – OT – McGill
Protecting Matt Stafford is priority one for the Detroit Lions. Jim Caldwell knows that. So keeping the tackle position infused with talent is a must. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a big, smart and nasty Canadian with good versatility who simply needs cleanup work on his technique.
#133 (comp) – John Brown – WR – Pittsburg State
Speed is how the Lions offense runs whether it’s at wide receiver or running back. John Brown broke out at the combine with one of the fastest 40-yard dash times of the field. He offers instant help at slot receiver with added capability as a return man.
#136 (comp) – Gabe Ikard – C – Oklahoma
Dominic Raiola is back for the Detroit Lions at center but he’s also 35-years old. They need an understudy to begin preparing for his eventual departure. Gabe Ikard is a leader in the middle with outstanding intelligence. Could stand to bulk up a bit.
#189 – Anthony Fera – K – Texas
Mayhew has no qualms about taking specialists late and this 2014 NFL mock draft proves it when he solved a bothersome kicker situation. Anthony Fera showed very good accuracy and improving leg strength in 2013. He also can double as an emergency punter.
#227 – Nate Askew – OLB – Texas A&M
The late rounds are about taking gambles. Nate Askew is a calculated one. The A&M product only started playing defense last year after being a receiver. He’s a tremendous athlete with speed and low body explosion. If he can be coached up the Lions might have a long-term starter.