Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports Columnists

April 24, 2011

James Cook: Lions need a cornerback

For once, the Detroit Lions may not be able to draft the best player available.

And that’s because unlike previous years, they only have a limited number of glaring holes on their team.

Linebacker, cornerback and a developmental left tackle are on the top of the list.

General manager Martin Mayhew has drafted shrewdly over the last two years, stocking the Lions’ roster with a solid amount of talent across the board.

Aside from linebacker, that is.

Outside of DeAndre Levy, Detroit doesn’t have a starting-caliber LB on its roster. Ashlee Palmer, Landon Johnson and Bobby Carpenter are good backups and special teams players, but the Lions need playmakers there.

So they need a linebacker, but at No. 13, nobody fits the bill. Von Miller will be gone, and no other linebacker merits going that high. Fortunately, the this linebacker class is deep, and they can get quality LBs in the second through fourth rounds.

That leaves No. 13 overall, where Detroit will likely select either a left tackle or cornerback.

Of course, adding a defensive lineman would be intriguing. If someone like Nick Fairley falls in Detroit’s lap, imagine a D-line featuring Fairley next to Ndamukong Suh. Scary. Jay Cutler would request a trade before pick 14 is made.

Pick: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska.

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