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Lions loading up on both sides

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted April 29, 2011 @ 9:05 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

We all knew the Lions could use a cornerback and two linebackers. An offensive lineman or two, too.

So naturally, they would take a defensive tackle, a wide receiver and a running back in the first two rounds of this draft ... a year after they went defensive tackle and running back in the first round.

And you know what? The Lions are doing exactly what they need to do: collecting talent.

Jim Schwartz's go-to line when he was first hired as head coach two years ago was that the Lions' biggest need was talent. Last year, he said it remained true, although they had started to fill needs.

Well, guess what? They still need talent — and they are getting it.

Nick Fairley lands, when you think about it, in just about the perfect situation. Schwartz knew how to coach Albert Haynesworth properly, and he'll have a wealth of riches with their top four defensive tackles: Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Fairley and Sammie Lee Hill, who is no joke either.

With their first second-round pick, the choice was WR Titus Young. Now this gives them weapons galore if Matthew Stafford can start, say, 16 games this season. Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Jahvid Best, Brandon Pettigrew and Young all can catch the ball and all of them have above-average (or way above) speed respective to their position. You have to think that if Stafford ever can stay healthy, he'll have a monster season.

And they added one more offensive weapon in Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure, giving the Lions their Reggie Bush-Pierre Thomas-like combo for the run game. Bush can spend more time on the edges and less time crashing into the pile — and maybe that prevents him from suffering more turf-toe injuries.

Look, what this all tells me is that the Lions once more plan to be very aggressive in free agency. That's where they can fill their needs. I don't know if we're talkingh Nnamdi Asomugha aggressive, but if Asomugha were to look at the Lions, he would see talent up and down this roster.

Every need is not filled, of course. The Lions currently might have the most questionable group of linebackers in the NFL. But they'll go out and get what they need when free agency and trades are allowed.

Right now, they are just having fun collecting really good football players and figuring out how to use them later. DL coach Kris Kocurek texted me last night to say he's already working on how to get all of his quality players on the field at once. Don't worry — they'll find a way.

 

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