During the offseason, we’re debating the biggest talking points about the Detroit Lions.
Detroit Lions’ Offseason Toss-up 3: Now that the NFL Combine is over and after watching the solid contributions of cornerback, wide receiver, safety and a few other positions, what’s your first thought about what should the Lions do with pick 10?
Chris Burke: I think Mike Evans ought to be the pick if he’s there. The Lions badly need to find someone — anyone — to provide some help at WR for Calvin Johnson, and Evans would provide the perfect weapon. His ability to make plays when the initial reads break down would pair well with Matthew Stafford’s ad-lib style. If they’d prefer to wait in a WR-heavy class, I’d order the next options as: Darqeuze Dennard, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, C.J. Mosley, Justin Gilbert.
Martin Mayhew said pretty clearly at the combine that he expects better things from Chris Houston, Darius Slay and others. The Lions have committed money and draft picks at CB in the past few years, so doing so again might be counterproductive.
Andrew Tomlinson: One thing is clear in this draft, Martin Mayhew should look to stockpile picks if he is not sold on anyone guy at No. 10. Personally I am starting to fall fast in love, or Drunk in Love as Beyonce would say, with Justin Gilbert and his insane speed. That said, I do not quite know if there is a need there for a cornerback that would need time to develop. I agree with Chris that Evans may be the most logical pick, but then again the Lions do not always draft biggest need, but instead take the best player available. Which brings me back to my original point, this draft is supposed to be incredibly deep and stockpiling second and third round picks could result in the Lions finding as many as four or five starters just from the draft, meaning the best player available could be the opportunity to draft more players.
In my opinion there are a lot of guys who might fit at No. 10 for the Lions, if I had to pick one it would be Evans, but I am not sold that there are any guys worth top-10 value. If Mayhew can trade down, this combine showed me he should, as I imagine some quarterback hungry team may attempt to grab one of the many signal callers that may fall.
Max DeMara: This draft appears to be particularly deeper than others, especially at wide receiver. Though the Lions do need a pass catcher to supplement Calvin Johnson, outside of Sammy Watkins, will there be an elite option available at 10? That’s the question Detroit will have to answer which holds the key to their draft. If Detroit doesn’t think the gap between Mike Evans and someone like Jordan Matthews, Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham is wide, they should conceivably add a free agent pass catcher, grab one of those three in the second round and suddenly have depth, allowing them to take Justin Gilbert first.
Though Mayhew also expressed confidence in the secondary recently, that can also be taken as posturing. Perhaps he wants to make it seem like the position is solidified to prevent Detroit’s plans from becoming a bit too obvious, helping someone else to fall in love with Gilbert before the Lions pick. With ideal size and 4.3 speed, Gilbert fits the mold of the new prototypical corner. While the corner position is relatively deep as well, there might not be anyone else quite like Gilbert available later who could help shut down the NFC North’s dangerous passing attacks. Barring the miracle of Watkins on the board, Detroit should take Gilbert.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax