In the first of a three-part series, Dye focuses cornerback, which he says is an eminent concern:
The Lions' secondary was torched in both of their final two games last season. Green Bay's reserve quarterback Matt Flynn passed for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the regular-season finale. New Orleans' Drew Brees went for 466 and three scores in the playoffs. The Packers and Saints both scored 45 points.
Dye goes on to note that the Lions will return 21 of 22 starters from last year's club, but that the one who got away was cornerback Eric Wright, who inked a five-year, $37.5 million free-agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There is one presumed surefire corner in this draft class: LSU's Morris Claiborne. Problem is, Claiborne will likely go in the top 10 -- maybe even in the top five. Wherever he goes, he won't be around when the Lions pick at No. 23.
According to Dye, that leaves two potential first-round-worthy corners: Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama, and Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina. Both Kirkpatrick and Gilmore have good size (6-2 and 6-1, respectively) and pedigree, having been groomed in the SEC.
Another potential corner -- although this would almost certainly be a second-rounder -- is Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins started his career at Florida but landed at Div. II North Alabama after being dismissed from the team after a series of off-field problems.