The Detroit Lions re-signed veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis on Monday. Last year, Mathis led the Lions’ secondary not only in age, but also stats.
With Mathis coming back to the roster, and the Lions’ recent signing of former Indianapolis Colts corner Cassius Vaughn, the total number of defensive backs on the roster rises to seven. The Lions’ secondary is also equipped with two underrated safeties in former Ravens Super Bowl champion James Ihedigbo and Detroit’s returning safety Glover Quin. Behind Quin and Ihedigbo is reliable veteran Don Carey and recent signing Isa Abdul-Quddus.
What seemed to be Detroit’s weakness has now turned into an area on the roster with the most depth, leadership, experience and potential.
So, stop putting Justin Gilbert in as the Lions’ first round draft choice in your mock draft.
The Lions will not be drafting a corner in the 2014 NFL Draft this May. Drafting a corner would be a waste of a pick considering it would just be another corner thrown into a group. I do not see them taking a safety very high either. There are more things the Lions can do with the draft position they are in and the other areas on the field they could address.
In the first two rounds, the Lions should look to draft a receiver and an inside linebacker. Trading up to get Sammy Watkins is not going to be as great with the amount of picks they will have to give up.
Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans could fall to the tenth spot or Detroit could draft defense if the top linebacker out of Buffalo, Khalil Mack, drops that far. Anthony Barr, an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid from UCLA, could be there as well.
Depth at outside linebacker and receiver is going to play to Detroit’s advantage come the second day of the draft. Therefore, the position not drafted the first day should be drafted on day two.
After the second round, the Lions have one pick in the third round and three in the fourth round. Here is where general manager Martin Mayhew will win the draft. These picks will be spent on a center to replace Dominic Raiola once he retires, a kicker to complement second-year punter Sam Martin, a quarterback to be molded behind Matthew Stafford and a defensive end to fill the hole left by Willie Young.
The Lions are in a position of power in this draft with their current roster. The amount of picks Detroit has and the small amount of needs will have NFC North division rivals uneasy.
Chris Boggus is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.