I can’t sleep.
I made my list, I checked it twice, and I have no doubt this draft will be nice.
The Lions are picking late in the first round—and as I discussed earlier, the board makes it unlikely they’ll get good value there. Will a fantastic prospect fall? Will the Lions move up? Will they trade back, picking quality over quantity? Will they trade draft picks for a veteran who can help right away—or will they trade a veteran like Cliff Avril for draft picks?
I don't know! Any, none, or all of the above could happen. It’s going to be a surprise—a present. This draft is going to be an exercise in sitting around in our bathrobe eating candy out of our stocking while the losing teams claw and fight and scrap their way through a hurricane of tape, ribbon, bows and shredded gift wrap.
Here are some of the presents on my wish list:
- Peter Konz, Wisconsin OC. A perfect medium- and long-term replacement for Dominic Raiola, he’s got the size and grit to back up both guard positions.
- Nick Perry, USC DE. He's an edge rusher with speed, and originally from Detroit. He's got Avrilesque tools—and while he may need Avrilesque time to learn and develop, the part you can’t teach is there?
- Zach Brown, UNC OLB. Kind of a mini-Kevin Durant, Brown’s athleticism is a perfect fit for the Lions’ scheme—and ended up on the Lions in all four instances of the #MockOne series of drafts. Remember, Durant and Deandre Levy are both on one-year deals.
- Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina CB. Norman knocked the socks off Michael Schottey at the East-West Shrine Game, and displayed a combination of good run defense, solid coverage, and a ballhawking knack most Lions DBs lack.
- LaMichael James, Oregon RB. His game is much like Jahvid Best’s, and therefore is perfect backup for him. James doesn’t have quite the size or strength of Best; a definite specialist rather than an undersized every-down back. But he’s got the important bit: the open-field home-run ability.
- Ryan Lindley, San Diego State QB. Dude has some severe holes in his game, but he’s got all the tools. Total boom-or-bust prospect, perfect fit for the late-round developmental role.
- Seriously Every Michigan State Spartan. Kirk Cousins. Edwin Baker. Trenton Robinson. Brian Linthicum. Even if Cousins won’t fall to a low enough slot for the Lions to consider, they could seriously use any one—or possibly several—of the Spartans up for consideration. Heck, they could vote a straight party ticket. Would a draft class of Worthy/Cousins/Robinson/Baker/Linthicum /B.J. Cunningham be so horrible? I'm kidding on that point, but I'll be surpised if the Lions don't end up with at least one Spartan.