2012 NFL Draft - Detroit Lions

Posted Apr 28, 2012

Detroit Lions - NFC North, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects


Detroit Lions

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Detroit Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Detroit Draft Breakdown 

The Draft Was ... a sign that the team just needs to adjust instead of build. The line needed a right tackle, and it got one in Riley Reiff. It's taking a big chance to assume Ryan Broyles will become a playmaker any time soon on the other side of Calvin Johnson, and he was a big reach in the second round. The Lions went for a strength-in-numbers theory at corner with Dwight Bentley in the third, Chris Greenwood in the fifth, and Jonte Green in the sixth. They need just one of them to work out.
Best Value Pick: LB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma, 4th round
Worst Value Pick: WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, 2nd round
They Should've ... taken Rueben Randle. Broyles still has to get past a knee injury and he has to show he has the NFL tools to make up for his lack of size. Randle, who went with the last pick in the second round to the Giants, would've been an immediate help to be Megatron's running mate.
Division Draft Ranking: 3
Overall Draft Ranking: 18

Second Round

WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma 5-10, 192
Overall Pick No. 54 CFN Overall Ranking: 184
CFN Analysis: The Lions really, really needed help for the secondary and have to go after a corner, and they made a huge reach with Broyles over Rueben Randle. On the plus side, Broyles won't have to be more than a complementary target with Calvin Johnson the obvious star of the franchise. However, when will Broyles be ready? He was just an okay prospect before the knee injury and this is way, way too early.

While he showed he's coming back quickly from the torn ACL that cost him the last half of his final year, and he showed great straight-line speed in his pro day, there are still plenty of question marks about whether or not he can hold up. Being hurt is nothing new, though, with a variety of injuries throughout his career. Even so, he was able to produce at the highest of levels, turning out to be the greatest receiver in Oklahoma history. However, the great Sooner receiver in the NFL is … ? Very smart and very quick, he's crafty and creative when it comes to getting open, and he's extremely strong for his size. A great college football player, he doesn't have the elite athleticism or speed to make up for his wiry frame, and if the knee injury cost him even a sliver of quickness he might not be anything more than a backup.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Third Round

CB Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette (S) 5-10, 182
Overall Pick No. 85 CFN Overall Ranking: 128
CFN Analysis: The Lions need corner help with Eric Wright gone in free agency, and Bentley is being brought in to try to help out a tough corner situation. He might not be the prototype, but Wright wasn't exactly Shaq-sized and he produced. This needs to be just the start; the Lions have to keep going after defensive backs.

Versatile, productive, and very, very fast, he's a legitimate 4.4 runner whose speed translates well to the football field. Smooth, he cuts effortlessly and has the recovery wheels to take off and chase down a target when needed. Eventually he should become a good safety, and he could grow into a ball-hawking free safety with the attitude and the toughness to hold up against the run, but he's not a sure-tackler. With his speed he has to be tried out at corner early on and he has just enough skills to hold down a No. 2 job on the other side of a shutdown defender. The 13 reps at the Combine were light and his jumps were awful, but worse yet, he was lumbering through the quickness drills. Even with all the knocks, he's a football player whose production will be better than his workout numbers.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Fourth Round

OLB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma (Jr.) 6-2, 253
Overall Pick No. 125 CFN Overall Ranking: 63
Part end, part linebacker, he bulked up in a big way to get up to 253 pounds to show he could possibly fit a variety of systems, but he's maxed out on his frame. Ridiculously strong, he put up 36 reps on the bench and showed he has the raw tools to potentially be a rock against the run. He's a big hitter who's excellent at coming up with a big stop, and he doesn't miss a tackle. While he's still an unfinished product and isn't the greatest of athletes, there's little bust potential as long as he can jack up the intensity level a few notches. He might not be a pure pass rusher and he'll be far better against the run than the pass, but he's quick enough to get by and he'll be a rock when his job is to see ball, hit ball.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Fifth Round

OLB Tahir Whitehead, Temple 6-1, 233
Overall Pick No. 138 CFN Overall Ranking: 226
Smooth as silk and extremely athletic, he's a beefed up safety who was an ultra-productive cog in the Owl defense. Yes, he didn't improve dramatically over his career, and he got by on reputation at times, he was a standout. While he's not all that big and doesn't have any room to get bigger, he doesn't miss a stop and he's tremendously physical for his size. Either he'll need to be surrounded by bulker players in a 3-4 scheme, or he'll have to find a niche role against the passing teams like New England. He's not going to blow anyone up and he might not be for everyone, at the very least he'll be a tough player to cut.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round 

Fifth Round

CB Chris Greenwood, Albion 6-1, 196
Overall Pick No. 148 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
CFN Analysis: With good size and speed he's an intriguing prospect worth developing. He worked at the lower level and he's going to need time to adjust to the speed and athleticism of the next level, but the raw tools are in place. He'll have to start out in nickel and dime packages, and he could end up seeing most of his time at safety and on special teams, but there's upside with a little bit of patience.
CFN Projection: Free Agent  

Seventh Round

ILB Travis Lewis, Oklahoma 6-1, 246
Overall Pick No. 223 CFN Overall Ranking: 166

Extremely productive at a high level, Lewis was a good outside linebacker who should be a far better fit on the inside – eventually. Slow, he's around a 4.8 40 runner, but he was an explosive jumper at the Combine and he plays faster than he times. An aggressive fighter with an attacking style, he seeks out plays and makes big things happen, but he has an attitude that might have to be dialed back a bit depending on the coaching staff. Can he work on the inside? He was at his best as a weakside playmaker throughout his career, but he's not a pass defender and he might not be quite strong enough to be a top interior presence. Even with all the knocks, he could be the type of defender who gets into a camp and turns out to be too productive to push off the field.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Seventh Round

LB Nathan Stupar, Penn State
Overall Pick No. 230   CFN Overall Rank: Unranked
CFN Projection: Free Agent