The Detroit Lions are expected to draft a wide receiver or tight end with the tenth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft after making the decision to re-sign veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis today, but drafting a CB at tenth overall isn’t out of the question. Still, UNC TE Eric Ebron and star wideouts like Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans look like more likely options for the Lions, and I think their two most likely options are OBJ and Evans. Both are better prospects with better hands than Ebron, even if Ebron can bring plenty of versatility to the table as an uber-athletic, high-upside “move” tight end. Even though the Lions have a top-notch WR duo in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, they could still use more talent at WR and already have Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria locked in as a TEs; I view WR as a bigger need in making the Matthew Stafford-led Lions passing attack one of the league’s most prolific. Ebron is visiting the Lions today, and you can read a bit more about this here.
Ebron isn’t the only talented draft prospect visiting the Lions today, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that Virginia Tech Hokies star cornerback Kyle Fuller is meeting with the Lions. Martin Mayhew, Jim Caldwell, and the rest of the organization are busy looking through top prospects like every team, but things will kick up a notch tomorrow with deeper meetings set, per Birkett.
Kyle Fuller is the younger brother of Lions wide receiver Corey, and he is one of the top prospects at the position in this year’s draft class. While I highly doubt the Lions reach for him with the tenth overall pick, they would have to trade up for him with their second-round pick in order to snag him. Fuller has been rising up draft boards over the past couple of months, as more people have figured out that he’s a top-notch talent and potentially a top three CB in this class. While that ranking may be a bit generous, I would rank him in the top five without much hesitation (Gilbert, Jason Verrett, Bradley Roby, and Darqueze Dennard are also strongly in the discussion).
Anyway, Fuller will likely be picked between the 20th and 32nd pick in this year’s draft, so the Lions would have to trade up for him if he even falls into the second round. That said, stranger things have happened, and the Lions could trade up for him if they like him enough. I don’t think it’s likely, but I wouldn’t rule out Mayhew and Brian Xanders doing this if they like him enough. Fuller is a possible shutdown corner who excels in run defense due to his smarts and physicality, and he is an impact rookie. Chris Houston, Darius Slay, and Mathis should make a up a decent CB duo in front of Glover Quin Jr. and James Ihedigbo and will surely bounce back from last season’s disappointing play, but the Lions would jump at and start a guy of Fuller’s caliber if he takes a surprising tumble.