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Tate's In, So What About The 10th Pick.

 
Tate's In, So What About The 10th Pick.

Now, to that tenth pick in the upcoming May draft.

Between the last post and now, Chris McCosky at the Detroit News reports Mel Kiper still has the Lions selecting Mike Evans with their first pick. He'll likely be at least a quality starter, and I hate making a Millen reference, but if the Lions took Evans or OMG, traded up for Sammy Watkins, that'd be sooooooooo Lions of the mid-aughts. Can they upgrade receiver behind Calvin and Tate? Of course. And it could even be accomplished with the Mayhew-ian trend selecting that receiver in round 2. 

By the time I finish this post soon-to-be-former Ravens safety James Ihedigbo could be a new Lion. *UPDATE* Ihedigbo would rejoin his secondary coach from Baltimore, new Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. That familiarity makes the move completely understandable. 

Ihedigbo paired with Glover Quin would give the Lions a competent safety duo. 

Competent is one thing, being difference makers is another thing. For all his steadiness, Ihedigbo through six NFL seasons has 3 picks, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries. A chunk of that came last year as a 30 year old starter with the Ravens. 

For the record, in '13 Quin had 3 picks, 2 sacks, a fumble recovery and a forced and 44 tackles. 

We're talking improvement here, not Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. 

From Chris Burke at SI.com on how free agency (so far) has affected the draft. 

The moves: Signed WR Golden Tate and (reportedly) S James Ihedigbo
What it means: Calvin Johnson has his sidekick in the passing game. Because of Tate’s versatility, the Lions still could target Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans and move Tate to the slot. The odds on that are dwindling, though, given how much Detroit already has invested in its top two receivers. This team also has ample needs elsewhere on the field and just re-signed wide receivers Kris Durham (No. 2 in targets behind Johnson last season) and Kevin Ogletree.

A reach for one of the top safety prospects — Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor — stood as a long-shot backup plan. Ihedigbo’s expected arrival crosses that idea off the list, too.

I've been on this Calvin Pryor love-fest ever since I read a scouting report that described him as a missile. 

Missiles blow things to smithereens. 

Glover Quin's 2013 highlights don't exactly evoke war zones on nightly newscasts. 

In his three seasons at Louisville, Pryor registered 100 tackles in his sophomore season and forced 9 fumbles during his career. 

Explosive downhill reaction to the run

Physical enforcer + the word 'detonates'. 

Habit of creating turnovers. 

Watch the graceful athleticism.

 

Burke is right, with Ihedigbo it doesn't make much sense to bring in Pryor, or even Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. That doesn't mean the Lions still shouldn't go defense with the pick at ten. 

It's unlikely the player Mike Mayock would take overall number - Khalil Mack - slips to the Lions, but a trade up could be consider for that type of player where the Lions DO need a difference maker to displace Ashlee Palmer. 

Anthony Barr is more realistic to drop to 10 where the Lions reside. His combine wasn't a marvel, but his pro day was. He'd play outside but his running back (he was one) speed could take him all over the field. 

If the safety position has its players that cannot be supplanted, cornerback does offer potential for upgrades. There's quantity to battle for for jobs behind Chris Houston - who struggled in '13 - with just Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Jonte Green, & Chris Greenwood to surpass. 

Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard could be options for the Lions. 

If it were up to me, Lions need to scavenge themselves an impact player in their secondary that teams must game plan against and be aware of all times. 

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From what I gathered Calvin Pryor is that player. But even if Evans is deemed a superior player to the names I've mentioned on defense, I'd be satisfied with the lesser player just as long as he's still forecasted to play with Pro Bowl potential. 

Bottom line. After taking the ball away from opponents just 22 times (better than 9 teams) - and 6 of them oddly coming from DeAndre Levy INTS - the Lions need to make it a key priority as their offseason machinations progress to finding ways to take the ball away from opposing offenses. 

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