The Detroit Lions recorded 33 sacks in 2012, and 9.5 of those came from impending free agent Cliff Avril. Detroit gave Avril the franchise tag after 2011 but may not be inclined to do so again, leaving open the possibility that they would be without a starter at defensive end.
Backup Lawrence Jackson is also set to hit free agency, and Kyle Vanden Bosch will be 35.
With that in mind, Rob Rang of CBS Sports projected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner to the Lions with the fifth overall pick:
The 6-4, 255-pound Werner led the ACC with 13 sacks and finished second in the conference with 18 tackles for loss.
NFL Draft Scout projects Werner as the top defensive end available in the 2013 draft after the junior declared himself eligible following the season. The addition of Werner could allow Detroit to let Avril walk without paying him a huge salary following a disappointing season that saw the Lions lose their last eight games.