The Detroit Lions’ vacant head coaching position is arguably the most impressive of all the vacancies in 2013. Yes, the Lions have a track record of losing and yes, the culture needs to be changed; but there’s no denying the talent that roster possesses.
On offense you’ve got Calvin Johnson, the best receiver on the planet, Reggie Bush and a quarterback who has shown signs of being elite in Matthew Stafford.
On defense, Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh are one of the best one-two punches in the NFL; and they boast high-upside players like Ziggy Ansah, DeAndre Levy and Louis Delmas.
The Lions do have holes though, so the next coach will have to draft smartly and draft well. Just who will Detroit target in round one? Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has them picking at No. 10, and taking cornerback Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State. His take:
The biggest issue on the depth chart comes at cornerback, but the 2014 draft has a few good ones the Lions can consider with the No. 10 overall pick.
The type of cornerback drafted will depend largely on what type of defense the new coaches install, but the safe bet is going with the most athletic man-coverage cornerback in the class. That’s Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert.
The Lions’ defense could really use that shut-down in your face cornerback to compliment the front seven, so I like this pick for Detroit. Gilbert is 6’0”, 200 pounds, so he has decent size, and he’s been very productive at Oklahoma State.
In 2013 alone he notched 40 tackles, six interceptions (two for touchdowns) and seven passes broken up. He could also be a factor on special teams for Detroit. Gilbert averaged 26.56 yards a kick return, notched 425 total yards on 16 returns and took back one for a touchdown.