The Detroit Lions were expected to make the jump from good to elite in 2012, but they fell flat, finishing with a 4-12 record. They weren't able to get things done on either side of the ball, and they'll need to have a strong offseason to come back and be the team everyone thought they would be this season.
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First, they've got free agency in March, and then the 2013 NFL Draft in April. They'll need to ace both to ensure they're not picking top five again come next year. That being said, with the No. 5 pick this year, they can at least make the best of things.
Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday, and he's got the Lions taking a defensive player in defensive end Bjoern Werner of Florida State:
This offseason, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril will be one of the most expensive free agents on the market. If they choose to let Avril walk, or want a younger upgrade to Kyle Vanden Bosch, Bjoern Werner would be an excellent choice. He's a pure 4-3 end and an excellent technician.
Detroit has invested some high picks in the defensive line of late, with guys like Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. But they do employ the "best player available" strategy and the Lions have consistently been picking near the top of the draft.
This usually means some kind of lineman is the pick. That being said, Werner could fill a need depending on how free agency shakes up. It certainly seems unlikely that they are able to bring Avril back at a reasonable contract number. Werner would seamlessly move into that role if the Lions brought him in.