The Detroit Lions are in an odd position in the 2012 NFL Draft. For one, they've been picking near the top for so long, it's difficult to remember the last time they picked this low with one of their own picks and not one that came via trade. They're sitting at No. 23, so naturally, the projects are all over the place. Still, one thing that was very evident near the end of the season was the fact that the Lions needed some help in the secondary and some help actually bringing people down for tackles.
Mel Kiper came out with his latest Mock Draft, and has the Lions addressing one of those issues:
Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
Detroit again will go into the 2012 season with perhaps the best front four in the NFL. Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz calculated well that the secondary would make strides after being such a weakness in previous seasons. Where the Lions could use help is at linebacker, and Brown would be a good fit. Brown has great instincts as a rangy tackler, and he has a lot of speed and can run with tight ends. I certainly can see the Lions looking for help on the offensive line at this spot, but if a top tackle doesn't fall to them here, Brown makes sense.
Clear and simple: the Lions are not a great tackling team. Their defensive line is truly one of the best in the NFL, but it's got a poor record of stopping the run - which is where the linebackers come in. Unfortunately, they're not too great at stopping the run either. Brown would be a physical presence that could move sideline-to-sideline to prevent big plays from getting into the secondary.