Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/20/14
In his four first years as the Detroit Lions' general manager, Martin Mayhew has leaned heavily to taking offensive players in the first and second rounds of the NFL Draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is projecting that to change this year. He thinks the Lions will go some combination of defensive endcornerback with their first two picks. Many observershad a similar assumptionlast year, but Mayhew went offense again. Over the last four years, Mayhew has taken four offensive players in the first round (quarterback Matthew Stafford, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, running back Jahvid Best and offensive lineman Riley Reiff) and three more in the second round (receiver Titus Young, running back Mikel Leshoure and receiver Ryan Broyles). Mayhew has selected only three defensive players in the first two rounds defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in the first round, and safety Louis Delmas in the second round. That's 70 percent seven out of 10 total picks in the first two rounds favoring the offense. Could this really be the year when Mayhew changes it up and uses the "best player available" approach to land some help for the defense? Here's what Kiper is projecting to happen with three weeks remaining until the draft: The Lions will take either BYU's Ziggy Ansah to play defensive end in their 4-3 system or Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner in the first round. If Jacksonville, picking No. 2 overall, opts for Oregon outside linebackerdefensive end Dion Jordan over Ansah then Kiper thinks the Lions will nab Ansah. But if Jacksonville takes Ansah then Kiper believes the Lions would turn to Milliner. "In that division (with an opponent such as Green Bay with quarterback Aaron Rodgers), a corner like Milliner would be very, very important," Kiper said. "Pass rush is critical as well. You can't throw the ball if you're running for your life and you're on your back. "To me, either player would make sense for the Lions." Kiper doesn't expect the Lions to take Jordan, arguably the best pass-rusher in the draft. Like other analysts, Kiper projects Jordan as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The theory is that Jordan would need to put on considerably more weight to hold up as a 4-3 defensive end in the Lions' system In the second round, Kiper anticipates the Lions taking a cornerback if they ended up with Ansah in the first round or a defensive end if they opted for Milliner. The second-round possibilities mentioned by Kiper are Florida State's Bjoern Werner at defensive end and Houston's D.J. Hayden at cornerback. Werner has been dropping in most mock drafts after being considered an early first-round pick by some analysts a few months ago. Hayden, on the other hand, is rising fast and could sneak into the first round. "I think it's going to fall well for them to get the corner and the defensive end at some combination firstsecond round," Kiper said. It would go against Mayhew's track record and also mean the Lions probably would be passing over a potentially elite offensive tackle such as Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher or Oklahoma's Lane Johnson. But, if Kiper is right, the Lions will be improving a defense in definite need of rebuilding. WHERE TO PUT SHOELACE? Kiper is projecting former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson as a possible third- or fourth-round pick. But Kiperacknowledged it's still difficult to get a handle on Robinson's draft stock because of the continuing uncertainty over what position he'll play. Robinson won't be a full-time quarterback in the NFL, so what he is? A receiver, a running back, a cornerback, a return specialist, a wildcat quarterback or perhaps some type of combination? "I still don't know where he's going to play," Kiper said. "I've asked teams. I've tried to watch him and figure it out. I don't know. "Trying to find the best position where he can carve a niche is going to be a challenge. It's not defined right now."

NBA Board of Governors votes against NBA draft lottery reform

Jamaal Charles admits he hid concussion symptoms

Kobe Bryant on ESPN article: ‘I just kind of roll with it’

Georgia releases statement about Todd Gurley's status

Michigan QB talks about racist messages he receives

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series


Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Fan blows $300 buying hot dogs for his section at World Series

Mo’ne Davis' Chevy commercial won't affect amateur status

WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

10 bold predictions for Week 8 of NFL season

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.