2013 NFL Mock Draft: Lions snag franchise left tackle


After several years of passing on potential premier left tackles, is Detroit going to let that happen in 2013? At least one mock draft has them securing perhaps the best in the draft.

The Lions need to get back on track. As rare it is to see Detroit on track at all, it was not long ago that the Lions appeared to be one of the most talented young teams in the NFL and now they look like they are the Lions again after a 4-12 finish last season. However, they still have a lot of those young players from two seasons ago that helped get them back to the playoffs.

What choice in the NFL draft is going to get them back over the hump?

There are several obvious areas of need for Detroit, including pass rush, secondary and offensive line help for next season. After all, even if the Lions have some elite players, you do not get to 4-12 by accident. After losing Cliff Avril and releasing Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Lions could target a pass rusher like Ezekiel Ansah. Many experts have said that Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner would not get past Detroit in the draft if available.

Then there is also finding a replacement for Jeff Backus and the departure of Gosder Cherilus on the offensive line. Rob Rang of CBS Sports notes this in his latest mock draft, and has the Lions upgrading on the line with Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan:

With long-time left tackle Jeff Backus retiring and the Lions moving on without right guard Stephen Peterman and right tackle Gosder Cherilus, Detroit must create a cohesive front if their investments in Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and free agent addition Reggie Bush are to flourish together. Fisher, who some rank as the top talent in the draft, would make the task of fixing the offensive line much less daunting.

While there are many ways to go, it should give Detroit the flexibility to take the top player available either way when the Lions pick fifth in next week's draft. That is unless they make a trade to acquire more picks, since they do have many holes to fill.

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