In SportingNews' annual beat writers mock draft, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press selected former Alabama safety Mark Barron for the Detroit Lions with the No. 23 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Via Birkett:
The Lions have a bigger need at cornerback, but Barron is the second-best defensive back in the draft and the Lions would jump at the chance to add him to their secondary. He's an immediate starter with an outstanding nose for the ball.
Barron made 63 tackles and two interceptions in his senior season at Alabama. He is a hard-hitting safety who excels in stopping the run and is versatile in pass defense, though just adequate in man-to-man coverage.
After losing cornerback Eric Wright to free agency, it would appear the Lions would prefer to select a cornerback, but behind Amari Spievey, there is also little depth at safety. Barron would certainly move into Detroit's starting secondary.