When the Lions hired general manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz, they put every available resource into the defensive line.
This year, the front office set out to revamp the offensive line. They cut right guard Stephen Peterman, restructured the contract of center Dominic Raiola, and allowed right tackle Gosder Cherilus to walk (signed with the Indianapolis Colts).
“I think that we’ve drafted on the offensive line, last year with Riley Reiff, and a couple years before that with Jason Fox,” Schwartz said. “We’ve developed those guys and if we can plug them in, we’re prepared to do it. All of those guys are guys that we think a lot of and we think that they can go do the job if called upon.
“We have some pretty good players in the pipeline. If we think the best course of action is to go there, then we’re prepared for that.”
Then left tackle Jeff Backus retired and the fanbase had more questions than answers. Who starts at left tackle? Where does Riley Reiff start?
It then turned to Thursday’s draft, primarily to Central Michigan’s own Eric Fisher. Draft pundits alike have sung the praises of Fisher. Some to the point of placing him No. 1 overall in their latest mock drafts, in place of Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joekel.
The Kansas City Chiefs — who hold the first overall pick — seem to be the closest thing to a lock in this unprecedented draft class, which features few elite talents, by drafting the left tackle of their choosing. NFL Networks Daniel Jeremiah suggests two other teams ahead of the Lions are now leaning towards a tackle.
I’ve had Dion Jordan going to JAX for a long time. However, I’ve talked to several GM’s/Personnel Directors that expect JAX to take an OT
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 21, 2013
FWIW… Lot of buzz about Oak taking a LT with #3 pick. Floyd could take a tumble if that happens.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 20, 2013
Through these claims and the general consensus around the league, many believe neither will be around when the Lions come on the clock. Which begs the question, would the Lions turn towards Lane Johnson — the third available tackle — or turn towards a safe pick of Chance Warmack or Dee Milliner.
[Related Topics: Final Evaluation: Detroit Lions 7-Round Mock Draft]
Martin Mayhew addressed his teams plans for the draft on Thursday.
“I think it’s really important,” Mayhew said. “You want guys with that high ceiling, but it’s also important to make sure you’re getting a solid player that you can have around for a long time. It may not be the best place to swing for the fence. You might not want to be Dave Kingman at 5. You might rather just get on base if you know what I mean.”
The Lions have tough decisions ahead of them, as the Lions look to keep their offseason momentum going.
Make sure to check back with Detroit Jock City April 25th, as Bradley La Brie and Tony Fischer live blog the 2013 NFL Draft.