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2012 NFL Mock Draft: WalterFootball Mocks DE Nick Perry To Lions

It's almost gotten sickening how often we've seen offensive lineman after offensive lineman drafted to the Detroit Lions. Granted, it certainly makes sense for the team as they can use upgrades all around the aging and sometimes ineffective line.

That's what makes this new take on things by WalterFootball so interesting. With Cliff Avril suddenly not as sure a thing as he was last week after claiming he would hold out if given the Franchise Tag by the Lions, defensive end is suddenly a possible need for the Lions to fill. They would lose 11 sacks if Avril were to depart for greener and richer pastures during free agency, so Walter's newest 2012 Mock Draft has them taking DE Nick Perry out of USC:

Another first-round defensive lineman!? Well, it's no secret that Jim Schwartz loves bolstering his pass rush. Defensive end will be a big need for the Lions if free agent Cliff Avril leaves. Detroit doesn't have the cap space to give Avril the money he wants. Avril could be franchised, but that'll just mean that the Lions will have to find a replacement next spring.

Depending on how the Avril saga plays out, this might start a new trend in Lions mock drafts. It'll be near impossible to replace Avril's consistency by a first year draft pick, especially around pick 23, but there's no reason to bolster the line if the opportunity is there.

Of course it begs the question, what about those nagging offensive line problems?

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride Of Detroit. For more on the NFL Draft in general, head to Mocking The Draft or the SB Nation NFL hub at sbnation.com/NFL.