|Detroit Lions 2011 NFL Draft Review|
|By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor|
1 - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn (6-4, 291);
2 - Titus Young, WR, Boise State (5-11, 174);
2- Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois (6-0, 227);
5 - Doug Hogue, OLB, Syracuse (6-2, 235);
7 - Johnny Culbreath, OT, South Carolina State (6-5, 322)
Top Pick Analysis: Though the Lions were already well set at defensive tackle, they couldn't resist the urge to bring in one of the draft's elite talents in Fairley, once a serious candidate for the No. 1 overall pick before questions about his maturity and a limited body of work caused a slide. Head coach Jim Schwartz has proven in the past he can get the most from his d-linemen (see Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee). Detroit also did quite well in the second round, as Young is a polished slot receiver with outstanding speed and big- play potential and Leshoure offers a powerful between-the-tackles complement to home-run threat Jahvid Best. Don't be surprised if the Illinois early entrant leads the team in rushing this coming season.
Best Value Pick: Getting Fairley at No. 13 was a major coup for GM Martin Mayhew, and Leshoure could have easily gone higher than the late second-round slot (No. 57) the Lions traded up with Seattle to obtain.
We Question Why: The Lions didn't do anything to bolster a shaky situation at cornerback, though it's hard to find fault with their first and second-day choices.
Summary: Detroit is no longer a laughing stock when it comes to the draft. Only the lack of picks that could have satisfied voids at linebacker and cornerback prevents a higher grade.
FINAL GRADE: B+