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Could Detroit Lions draft guard at No. 5 overall?


A guard hasn't been drafted with a top-10 pick since 1997 or in the top five since 1975. That's no longer a ridiculous scenario, Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew recently told's Justin Rodgers.

The new collective bargaining agreement allows the move to be financially feasible. The last two players selected fifth overall, receiver Justin Blackmon and cornerback Patrick Peterson, signed four-deals averaging around $18.5 million.

"I think if you go back and look five, six years ago with the way the rookie contracts were structured, the idea of taking a guard that high just made no sense at all," Mayhew said. "I think, if ever there was a time for a guard to go early, it would be this year with the caliber of the two guys that are coming out and with the way the rookie contracts are structured right now."

Alabama's Chance Warmack and North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper are the elite prospects at the position and are considered better prospects than several high-rated offensive tackles. The two are possibilities for the Lions in the first round, according to Jason La Canfora. Detroit released guard Stephen Peterman in February.

The Lions could take an offensive tackle (most likely Central Michigan's Eric Fisher) and move 2012 first-round pick Riley Reiff to guard. If both Fisher and Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel are selected before the No. 5 pick, the Lions could draft one of the guards and play Reiff at tackle. Martin also could trade back and still get one of the guards. Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner also is an option at a position of need.

Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway reiterated this week that this is not a top-heavy draft. That opens more doors for those selecting early.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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