The Lions have a lot of needs to fill before the 2014 season. Because much of the Lions spending money this offseason is taken up by Ndamukong Suh’s enormous cap hit, many of those needs will have to be filled in the 2014 NFL Draft.
One of the needs pinpointed by insiders exists at cornerback. Early mock drafts had the Lions picking a corner (either Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard) with the 10th pick. But with players like Rashean Mathis, Jonte Green, Darius Slay and Chris Houston already on the roster the perceived need at cornerback waned.
But cornerback might again become an urgent need for the Lions after news the Chris Houston’s nagging foot injury is still a concern and may actually require surgery to correct.
“Chris has a medical issue dealing back to last year,” Mayhew said. “He dealt with it during the season last year. He’s still dealing with it, trying to find the right treatment plan for him right now.”
That means the Detroit Lions may once again be looking at cornerback in the first round. With top cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard both projected to be available at #10, the Lions may even be able to trade back and still get one of the two. But as Matrin Mayhew said today, competitiveness more than rankings will determine who he may pick.
“As far as corners, I think I said before, the most important thing to me is competitiveness,” Mayhew said. “You’ve got to have that guy that doesn’t want anybody catching any balls on him ever in practice, in walk-through, whatever. We’re looking for a guy that has that kind of mentality. A lot of them have different physical attributes, but the mentality is the most important thing at corner I think.”
With the possibility of Chris Houston missing time, the Lions might find drafting a corner (or two) more important than trading up to grab a wide receiver. Luckily for the Lions the 2014 NFL draft has plenty of them to choose from.