Lions bolster O-line with Reiff; CB still a need

Posted April 26, 2012 @ 11:58 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Down the road, the Lions’ selection of Iowa OT Riley Reiff could be regarded as a nice value for Detroit. If nothing else, it is a case of sensible planning. OLT Jeff Backus will be 35 in September, and ORT Gosder Cherilus enters the final year of his contract. (Backus comes off an arm injury, but he's expected to be ready for training camp, according to the Detroit Free Press.)

If Reiff pushes to start in Year One, it would figure to be at right tackle, or perhaps at guard, but I would not be surprised if Reiff were the sixth lineman in 2012. The Lions like the continuity of their offensive line. It’s a group with limitations, but it is an experienced group, and all five starters return.

Now, the focus turns to whether the Lions can fill their most glaring need — cornerback — later in the draft. The chances of an in-house candidate starting opposite of Chris Houston increased Thursday night. Perhaps a mystery veteran could be added to the mix; I say this only because the Lions fit the profile of a club that very well could look to trade for CB help. The position is an obvious need, and trades for veteran players are not uncommon in the later stages of the draft.

The problem for Detroit is that good CB help can be tough to find. It would be a lot to ask of a second- or third-day draft pick to come in and start, and if a veteran is available in trade, you have to weigh why the player is being offered so readily.

I wouldn’t put it past the Lions to craft a good solution to this problem. Clearly, they stuck to their board to take Reiff. But one of their best outlets for adding a cornerback has closed.