Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 20, 2013

Dennis Chase: Eric Fisher will get wish at NFL Draft

Sports editor

---- — I think Eric Fisher will get his wish next Thursday.

I think his hometown team — well, Rochester is close enough — will select the Central Michigan offensive tackle with the fifth pick in the first round of the NFL draft.

Some draft analysts rank Fisher as the No. 1 talent in the draft. But I think he's there for the Detroit Lions.

Few, if any, teams tip their hands prior to the draft. The Lions are no different. I do believe Detroit GM Martin Mayhew, though, when he says he will not take a chance on that pick with a boom or bust type of player. That limits the options dramatically.

I think Mayhew will play it safe and pick an offensive lineman. That's where the quality is at the top of the draft. The Lions need to replace three starters on the line, including both tackles. The team did not address that unit at all in free agency.

Fisher and Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel are rated higher in this draft than any edge rusher, another need area for the Lions. Even the top two guards, North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper and Alabama's Chance Warmack, are considered sure-fire bets.

It would help if Kansas City trades tackle Branden Albert to Miami. The Dolphins are in need of a tackle, too, and have extra draft picks to dangle to move up in the draft order. Oakland at No. 3?

If Fisher's gone, I could see Cooper in Detroit. But I think Fisher will be there.

Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan