Why guard shouldn’t be excluded from the first-round conversation for Lions

Posted by ttwentyman on April 24, 2013 – 1:43 pm

If Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper hear their names called in the first five picks of the NFL Draft Thursday night, it’ll be the first time an interior offensive lineman has been summoned to the podium for his snap shot with the commissioner since 1985, when the Philadelphia Eagles selected Bill Fralic second-overall.

Taking a guard high in the draft isn’t a sexy pick for the fans or the franchise. A guard doesn’t sell a whole lot of new season tickets.

In a draft devoid of elite talent at the top. In a draft that has a lot of question marks surrounding a number of top picks. Could 2013 be the year of the guard once again?

“I think if you go back and look five, six years ago with the way the rookie contracts were structured, I mean, the idea of taking a guard that high just made no sense at all,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said last week.

“But the slot that we’re in right now is probably a $19-20 million over the first four years type of deal, which I don’t think is unreasonable for a guard, for a good guard.”

That last part is significant – for a good guard. Warmack and Cooper are head and shoulders above the rest of the group at their position and some Mock drafts have both players going in the top 10.

Mayhew personally supervised Cooper’s pro day in North Carolina last month and Warmack was one of the team’s 30 allotted pre-draft visits.

Could the Lions be thinking guard in the first round?

It makes sense from the standpoint that the biggest hole on the line right now is the right guard spot left vacant by the release of Stephen Peterman. Warmack and Cooper are also safe picks in a draft filled with lots of question marks.

Ideally, if the Lions were thinking guard, they’d like to trade back a few spots, pick up an extra pick, and then maybe select one of the guards.

But let me lay this scenario on you. Let’s say Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Dee Milliner and the highest rated pass rusher they have on their board – all players who could also fill a need for the Lions – are gone. Is it too much of a leap to take a guard projected to be a 10-year starter on the interior of the offensive line?

I don’t think it is. If there’s any year it makes sense, it might be this one.

It’s just one of the many draft day scenarios to consider.


Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “Why guard shouldn’t be excluded from the first-round conversation for Lions”

  1. By simon on Apr 24, 2013 | Reply

    Enjyed reading this report. I think the important thing to remember about the OG position, is that its also cheaper to find a replacement in Free agency. As the rookie contracts are now alot more cap friendly, it would make much more sense selecting a starting CB (Dee Milliner) or a DE (Jordan or Ziggy) as both those positions command 10mil + a season on the Free agent market….that way you fill a position of need with an impact player and its costs half the price of trying to find one in FA.

    Thank you

  2. By broccolilava on Apr 24, 2013 | Reply

    I like this point. The way it’s looking, we will be down to the 8th best tackle by the 5th pick. :/ Taking one of the dominant guards would really improve the offense.

    IMO. The Lions don’t need this year’s 1st rd pick to sell tickets. We have CJ, Stafford, Suh and Reggie Bush to do that. We just need someone who makes a weakness into a strength.

  3. By cullimon on Apr 24, 2013 | Reply

    I feel like if the lions can’t get Eric Fisher, they will trade down. Guard isn’t that big of a need with Nagy and Rodney Austin vs Tackle where there are only 3 guys competing. Riley and Eric would be bookends for the lions for years. Sims and Naggy/Austin would occupy the inside and a new center will be needed for later years.

  4. By Richard Alan Heyman on Apr 24, 2013 | Reply

    If the Lions are willing to pay a guard $5million a year, then it is finally clear the sport is all about Money. Who pays for these incredible salaries? We the fans, and what do we get for the ever increasing salaries??? ZIP, Nada, Not one divisional championship. Stafford, CJ big money recipients OH YEAH, without a doubt!!! O-Linemen…….??? GET FISHER and have our O-line YOUNG and Talented for ONCE in how many years?

  5. By tommy on Apr 24, 2013 | Reply

    Lions please don’t draft a DE you need a DB or a T, Eric Fisher or Xavier Rhodes in the first round….

  6. By Don on Apr 25, 2013 | Reply

    Hi guy’s I am bumming because I am worried that no one that really counts on this Team will probably read this. I mean everyone counts on the TEAM. Sorry I worded that wrong. but you know what I mean. I hope! But, if anyone does read this please pass it on to the Big boy’s up top. K?
    Anyway’s, here goes another long winded yak attack.
    I just wanted to say, that if either of the tackles are there I believe that the Lions would take them. However even though Lane Johnson is talented I think that I would pass on him being that I think that the Very talented Gs are More talented than Lane Johnson.
    If the Two top Tackles are gone then if it were me and NO it’s Not. I would Take one of these Two Guards, Chance Warmack, Or Johnathan Cooper. I do not believe that they will be there in the 2nd rd for our 2nd pick.
    Mayhew has been saying that he want’s an Impact player? write? Well I believe that either of these two would be VERY BIG impact players Opening holes for Reggie Bush, Mikel Leshore and One of my favorite RBs Joiqe Bell. I hope I spelled his name right. Even though he’s one of my favorites I still can’t spell well.
    I know a ton of people want Dee Milliner However even though Dee is very Talented I just don’t see him as that big of an Impact player. he Will make play’s and probably some real good play’s but, so will Warmack or Cooper when they open that hole that our RB’s take all the way to the endzone.
    And if you don’t like the Idea of going with the Guards that I believe would be the smartest thing to do. Then There is Dion Jordan Who I believe is the Best DE/LBer in this Draft. And I know that he is not sure about a 4-3 line, But once he learns Schwartz’s & Cunningham’s system, He will be nothing but a total Beast on the field for us.I know that I said this before and I will say it again, Please, Please don’t take Barkavious Mingo. I know that people are going crazy about him in other places and some here. I have Nothing against this Man what so ever. When it comes to playing DE/ LBer He is so fast that he totally passes play’s up.
    And from what I was reading from well, Only one scout I will say that, But, the story was that he didn’t keep his head in the Game and that he also got a lot of offside penalties, and a ton of opportunities missed because of his Speed, and once he would miss that he would Not regroup and go after the play but that he would just shut down once he missed the play.. and that he was not a Run Tackler. another place where he would turn off when the play didn’t come his way.
    Oh and if we REALLY absolutely have to have a CB in this Draft I have to say that I really like the Corner out of Washington. If I was a REAL FOOTBALL GURU I would remember his Name.How I do not remember his Name I couldn’t tell you?
    Early sign’s of all-timers? I don’t know. Well I am Really excited to see who we Get. I just Keep on Praying that we get all the Men who can help us to win the Superbowl. I know that the Lord Might care about other things more than about Football but I do know he cares about all people and so that means he cares about Football players, coach’s GMs Presidents and Owners. You know all of us.
    anyway’s I Really have Faith that the Detroit LIONS ARE going to win the Superbowl someday and some year. I hope that it is this year!
    I LOVE THIS TEAM! GO LIONS!
    P.S you guy’s get this Right ! I really STILL believe in you Mayhew! Schwartz ! And Lewand ! BIG! SMART! FAST!

  7. By Don on Apr 25, 2013 | Reply

    Oh and I know that last one is Really long winded but I have been trying to cut most of them down and stick to the subject. However without being able to comment on most of the blogs or twentymans or O’Hara’s articles sometimes I seem to try to get as much as i can into my note as I can.
    GO LIONS!

  8. By Dan on Apr 25, 2013 | Reply

    I am not against a guard, but if the two good tackles are gone, the recent arrest of Lewis may reinforce the need at DE, because in my opinion he needs to be thrown out as so much rubbish….tased twice, what a moron.

  9. By Don on Apr 25, 2013 | Reply

    I agree that we need a DE, Dan.
    However the draft is deep with DEs and DTs from what I have been hearing.
    Yea, tis true that there aren’t a ton like Dion Jordan. But there are a lot of good DEs and even LBers that could make the switch from LBer to DE.
    But, GOOD Guards, REAL GOOD Guards There aren’t so many.
    Dan Have you ever got drunk? When you were young? When or if you did you didn’t start the night out to get drunk, Right? All I’m saying is that the guy messed up and yea there should be a penalty of some kind. And give’em a chance to straiten it out. Now if he doesn’t then either a Bigger penalty or maybe let go.
    But, For us Or any Team I think the League should come up with some kind of penalty too. Three strikes your out. But what I have a problem with is that if a Team and I mean any Team has players that get into legal trouble or get’s busted drinking and driving and or whatever and the league and Team say’s your out. I think that the Team or Teams should either get an exrtra draft pick the next year or the Team should be able to take one of the remaining players that were left over and not picked. I tell you if I were the players on this Team I would ignore players getting busted and still concentrate on winning. Because if any Lion;s players are smoking dope or drinking you can bet that sooner or later they will get busted. Yes it was not to smart of him to go and get drunk. These players on this TEAM better learn to keep themselves strait because if they don’t they are going to get busted.

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