The Detroit Lions struggled last year. This is something you could write after almost every season, unfortunately. So what is it about the next version of the Lions that is going to finally be better than the last version? They will have to figure that out before the draft in New York on April 25, when they will be picking fifth overall. It could be crucial to the job security of head coach Jim Schwartz that they don't make the wrong choice, and there are several viable options for a team with several significant holes.
Many mock drafts have had the Lions taking a defensive end to replace the departed Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Boesch, but there could be viable pass-rushing options available in the second round and later. Several others have said the cornerback Dee Milliner will not get past Detroit, but it would be rare to see a corner go that high. Which could leave another option, which is upgrading the offensive line and drafting a potential elite left tackle.
That's why ESPN's Todd McShay has mocked Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher to the Lions in his latest:
The Lions need to fill the hole left by the retirement of longtime OT Jeff Backus, and Fisher is the best natural pass-blocker in the class. He would be a huge asset as Detroit tries to keep franchise QB Matthew Stafford upright.
Detroit actually finished third in total offense last season and second in passing offense while Stafford was sacked 29 times. They have lost some key players on the line however, and Fisher could step in right away and be a starter. That's something that Schwartz is probably going to need next season.