The Detroit Lions have become known as a tease to football fans, as they have tons of talent but never seem to reach their potential. Finding more talent in the 2014 NFL Draft is certainly a way to help Jim Caldwell’s chances of winning the NFC North.
Round 1, Pick 10: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
While the Lions already have the best wide receiver in the NFL, there has been a struggle to find a legitimate pass-catching threat to line up alongside Calvin Johnson. Titus Young and Ryan Broyles have failed to become what the Lions hoped they would be. In order to take advantage of the talent that the Lions have on offense, one more piece could put them over the top.
Watkins was a playmaker during his three years with Clemson, and is widely considered the best wide receiver prospect in the draft this season. While lacking some size and strength, many have compared Watkins to players like Torrey Smith and Percy Harvin, as Watkins has elite acceleration and great hands. He has experience lining up wide, in the slot and in the backfield, in addition to being a successful return man. Watkins could finally be the player to bring balance to the Lions passing game.
Round 2, Pick 13: Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
Years of high draft picks have made the Lions defensive line one of the best in the league. The Detroit management has shown that pass-rushing is important to their ideal team. But pass-coverage is necessary in order to take advantage of the pass-rush. With the Lions need at linebacker, it would make sense for Detroit to take a player who has the ability to play in coverage, but who also can add additional pressure on the quarterback if asked.
Ford, who played very well in the National Championship game against Florida State, played defensive end in college, but due to lack of size is expected to play outside linebacker in the pros. He has shown the ability to play efficiently while running backwards, and with some coaching could become an elite dual-threat linebacker. Ford is somewhat of a project, but he possesses the high ceiling that Detroit has shown to like in their draft picks.
There you have it, my Lions 2014 mock draft. Many things could change depending upon the decision the Lions make with their head coach. With the talent the team already has, turning strengths into ELITE strengths could push the team to a position where the rest of the NFC North is looking up at the Lions in the standings.
Do you think the Lions need to shore up different positions? What should the team do in the draft to help the team reach their potential? Comment with your thoughts.