Reader’s Mock Draft: Detroit Lions on the Clock

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft will be here before we know it.  Now that Free Agency has settled down, team needs have come into focus.  That could mean only one thing – it’s time for another mock draft!  But rather than us sitting back and throwing darts at the wall, we thought we’d let you join in the fun.  We’ll roll through the draft order and give each team choices based on team needs and the best players available and you’ll vote on the picks for each team. On with the countdown…

10.  Detroit Lions (7-9)

Going into week 11 the Lions were 6-3 and in first place in the NFC North. I don’t think even their most pessimistic fans would have expected the Lions to end up with the 10th pick of the NFL draft, but the Lions were two vastly different teams before and after their week 1o victory over the Bears in Chicago. Usually a win like that, DT Nick Fairley stuffed Matt Forte on a 2-point conversion attempt to seal the victory, gives a team momentum; Instead the Lions fell apart, going 1-6 over the next seven weeks despite only playing two teams with winning records. There were plenty of reasons for the collapse, but the main one was QB Matthew Stafford who had the worst stretch of his young career (10 TD / 12 INT).

The Lions collapse down the stretch cost head coach Jim Schwartz his job. As a Bears fan I was sad to see him go since the Lions have had one of the most talented rosters in the league the last few years and still struggled under Schwartz’s leadership. The Lions still have plenty of talent and will be led by new head coach Jim Caldwell. He’s the polar opposite of Schwartz, who was fiery on the sidelines, at times it looks like Caldwell might be sleeping on the sidelines. Either way, it would be hard to do worse than Schwartz did last year with such a talented roster. Everyone knows the big names like Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Ndamukong Suh and Matthew Stafford, but last year young players like DeAndre Levy, Larry Warford, and Ziggy Ansah showed flashes of becoming Pro Bowl caliber players. The Lions also added some talent in free agency like WR Golden Tate and S James Ihedigbo. The Lions probably have the most talent in the division (again) and should be in the mix for the NFC North title in 2014.