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What the Lions should do in the 2014 NFL Draft

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix still looks like the best option for the Lions.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix still looks like the best option for the Lions.
Photo by Joe Robbins

In previous years, we'd already be through the NFL Draft at this point. The teams would have made their picks and all would be well as we picked through them and lauded some seventh round pick as a steal. However, in the NFL's desire to own the entire sporting calendar, and because who can stop them, they pushed the Draft into early May. So now, we've got a bit more time to wait, and a bit more time to think about who the Lions should pick. Thus, here is what I would like to see Detroit do in the 2014 NFL Draft.

I'm really only going to focus on the first four rounds, in part because Detroit doesn't have a fifth round pick. They do have three fourth rounders though, which is pretty alright. I mean, you don't expect much from a fourth round pick, but if you get three, one should work out.

The Lions make their first pick 10th overall, if they don't trade it, and I really hope they don't trade up to take Sammy Watkins. I am a Watkins fan, but he's not worth trading up for. When I first assessed where the Lions stood in this first round, I suggested Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the safety from Alabama. That seems to be where things are headed. I don't want Mike Evans, even though he's a fine player, and Detroit needs help in the secondary. A Justin Gilbert or another cornerback might be alright, but Gilbert gets some value from kick returning, and the Lions are set there. So Clinton-Dix it is.

Then, in the second round, a cornerback sounds like a good idea. A wide receiver would be acceptable, but I figure that can wait. This draft is deep in wide receivers. Somebody like Lamarcus Joyner from Florida State or Stanley Jean-Baptiste from Nebraska would be good, although it is amusing to have those two suggested together. Joyner is 5'8'', Jean-Baptiste is nearly 6'3''. It really depends on what the Lions want. Joyner could be good for the Lions in the slot. I might lean that way if he's there.

In the third round, sure, they can take a wide receiver. Here is where to do it. If Clemson's Martavis Bryant is there, he's the guy, but I don't think he will be. Rutgers' Brandon Coleman is 6'6'', but the Lions have a couple big bodies already. Maybe Allen Robinson from Penn State? If he's there, I'd like him more than Coleman. Bryant is the hope though.

Finally, the fourth round. Here, they should get another wide receiver. Maybe with their first pick in the round. The non-compensatory one. They can get Josh Huff from Oregon there. I like him. Or perhaps a small school guy like John Brown from Pittsburg State. Then, with the other two picks, I think they should try and get depth on the defensive line. A pass rusher and a defensive tackle. If LSU's Anthony Johnson is there at defensive tackle, I like him. I don't know what sort of pass rusher will be there, particularly when it comes to defensive ends. I'm just going to say Virginia Tech's James Gayle. He may not be there, but it's plausible.

The NFL Draft will be here soon enough, and if the Lions can do anything like this with their picks, I will be quite pleased.