Lion fans are torn on who they want the team to draft, heading into this week’s primetime event. Some say BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Others say Central Michigan’s left tackle Eric Fisher. Still some want Alabama’s Dee Milliner or Chance Warmack.
On Monday, ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay weighed in on which player would make a bigger pro impact — of Alabama teammates Milliner and Warmack.
“Milliner has just a slightly higher grade, in my opinion,” Kiper said Monday on a SportsCenter Special. “I wish his hands were a little bit better, but he’s fundamentally and technically sound. Tough kid, he’ll work hard to maximize his ability. Just the slightest of edges to Dee Milliner.”
McShay had a different take on the pair.
“I’m gonna go with Chance Warmack and take the safe route here,” McShay said. “…I just can’t see Warmack having anything but a good to exceptional career at the guard position. I think he’s ready to start right away. Forty career starts in the SEC, he can play zone blocking, he can be a power man blocker, this guy can do it all. To me, Mel, it’s just the safe choice, but obviously Dee Milliner is a stud as well.”
With Martin Mayhew’s intent on not “swinging for the fence” atop the first round — as well as the general consensus that top tackles Fisher and Luke Joekel will be off the board before Detroit’s pick — it’s safe too assume both these players could land with the team with the 5th overall pick.
After bringing back key members of their secondary this offseason — cornerback Chris Houston and safety Louis Delmas — as well as signing safety Glover Quin, they could overhaul a need into a strength with the addition of Milliner.
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Last year, the Lions spent three draft picks on the position taking Bill Bentley in the third round, Chris Greenwood in the fifth round, and Jonte Green in the sixth round. It was widely assumed the Lions would add a veteran corner in free agency, and to this point, it hasn’t happened.
If this pick comes to fruition, the Lions will have revamped an entire secondary that ranked 22nd in pass defense in 2011, while allowing nearly 950 passing yards in their final two games (including the playoffs), and 14th in 2012.
The team could very well go in another direction. Defensive ends Dion Jordan and Ansah, or offensive tackle Lane Johnson could hear their names called on Thursday.
Make sure to check back with Detroit Jock City April 25th, as Bradley La Brie and Tony Fischer live blog the 2013 NFL Draft.