Found April 04, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
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."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Lions' Hanson calls it a career

Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson is retiring after 21 seasons. The 42-year-old Hanson announced his decision Thursday. He said he gave serious consideration to returning, but problems with his heel prompted him to call it a career. Hanson became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. He also set an NFL record last year when he played his...

Lions kicker Jason Hanson retires from NFL

Jason Hanson has decided to retire. The 42-year-old kicker has chosen to retire rather then accept the league minimum to return to the Detroit Lions. Hanson spent all 21 years of his NFL career with the Lions. During his career Hanson connected with 82.4 percent of his field goals, 18th best in the history of the NFL. He was as reliable as anyone from beyond the 50-yardline. Already...

Mosley apologizes to Stafford for injury hit

On his first day as a Detroit Lion, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley took some good-natured ribbing. It was the 6-foot-2, 314-pound Mosley who put a vicious hit on Matthew Stafford that separated the quarterbacks shoulder in the final seconds of a game against Cleveland in 2009. Stafford came back in and threw the game-winning touchdown for the Lions as time expired. Now he and Mosley...

Detroit Lions Kicker Jason Hanson Retired After 21 Seasons

Detroit Lions Kicker Jason Hanson Retired After 21 Seasons The Detroit Lions are going to have to do something they have not needed to do in over two decades this off-season–find a kicker. Longtime kicker Jason Hanson retired Thursday after 21 seasons in the NFL. Apparently a year after he completed 89 percent of his field goals (32-36) the team decided he was only...

Fantasy Football Player Profile – Ryan Broyles, WR

Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions Player Profile Height/Weight: 5-10/192 Birthdate: 4/9/1988 School: Oklahoma FANTASY FOOTBALL ANALYSIS Poor Ryan Broyles. After suffering an ACL injury his senior year at Oklahoma, then working hard to make it back on the field after getting drafted by the Lions, he suffers another ACL injury in the opposite knee. I guess that’s the good news for...

Detroit K Hanson retiring after 21 seasons

Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson is retiring after 21 seasons. The 42-year-old Hanson announced his decision Thursday. He said he gave serious consideration to returning, but problems with his heel prompted him to call it a career. Hanson became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. He also set an NFL record last year when he played his 21st...

Jason Hanson retires after 21 seasons with Lions

No mas A little less than a month ago, Hanson was coming back, provided he and the Lions could work out a deal. On Thursday, April 4, 2013, Jason Hanson retired from football after TWENTY ONE (21!) years of kicking for the Detroit Lions. There will be a press conference on Tuesday. While it might seem like Hanson and the Lions couldn't come to terms on a contract, the...

Jason Hanson Retires From The NFL

Jason Hanson announced that he’s retiring from the NFL on Thursday after 21 seasons in the league, per Tim Twentyman. Mike Garafolo reports that the low offers he received from the Lions had him considering retirement. Garafolo adds that Hanson was also dealing with a foot injury. “It was time to make a decision,” Hanson said, via DetroitLions.com. “It was the right time...

Lions kicker Hanson, 42, retiring

Jason Hanson wanted to keep on kicking. His body told him to stop. The Detroit Lions kicker is retiring after 21 seasons. The 42-year-old Hanson announced his decision Thursday. He said he thought about returning, but problems with his heel prompted him to call it a career. ''It's time,'' Hanson said. ''I gave serious thought and consideration to playing...

Lions sign kicker Akers

After Jason Hanson spent 21 years as their kicker, the Detroit Lions needed just over 24 hours to replace him. David Akers, released last month by San Francisco, reached a contract agreement Friday with the Lions. Akers, entering his 16th NFL season, has been one of the leagues more dependable kickers throughout his career; however, he made just 29 of 42 attempts last season for...

Lions' Jason Hanson decides to retire

Lions' Jason Hanson decides to retire

Lions land DT Mosley on 2-year deal

The Detroit Lions have agreed to a two-year contract with veteran defensive tackle C.J. Mosley. Agent Harold Lewis confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Wednesday. Mosley was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this week. Mosley spent the last three seasons with the Jaguars, starting 15 games and recording 136 tackles. Mosley won a starting job last season. He...

What If Nick Fairley is one of those 12 Auburn players?

Things for Auburn football don’t look good. About an hour ago it was being reported that 12 Auburn football players failed a synthetic drug test that they were supposed to take before the 2010 National Championship, however, some players didn’t take it until after the game they won. As much as I could go on about that, I want to focus on former Auburn Tiger Nick Fairley who was...

Lions agree to terms with David Akers

Just a day after Jason Hanson retired after a 21-year NFL career, the Lions have already found his replacement. According to the Detroit Free-Press, the Lions have agreed to terms with free agent kicker David Akers. Akers had a great bounce back year in 2011 with the 49ers after being released by the Eagles, but he struggled at the end of this past season, which led to him being...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
Help
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.