Five possible draft replacements for Ndamukong Suh in Detroit

The defensive tackle position could become a much higher draft priority for the Detroit Lions if reports of Ndamukong Suh's inclination to sign a lucrative free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins come to fruition, particularly if the club doesn't make a free-agency move of its own to help fill the void. A first-round investment, in fact, would figure to be a strong possibility for general manager Martin Mayhew.



Here are five interior defensive linemen who could be viable options for the Lions in the draft:

1. Eddie Goldman, Florida State

There might not be a better defensive tackle in the draft when it comes to stopping the run, and the Lions must contend with the likes of Green Bay's Eddie Lacy and, if he returns to Minnesota, Adrian Peterson in divisional play. At 336 pounds, Goldman is an anchor who can take on double teams and hold his ground. Don't look for Goldman to replace Suh's ability to rush the passer from the inside, but then again, there probably isn't a defensive tackle in the draft who could do that. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks currently projects Goldman to Detroit.

2. Malcom Brown, Texas

Brown isn't quite as big as Goldman, but is the better athlete of the two. Brown doesn't overpower blockers as Goldman can, but he sheds blocks quickly and could be a disruptive presence on the Lions defensive line. Draft buzz on him has been on the rise, and he could be available when the Lions make their first pick at No. 23 overall. NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein's mock draft foresees Brown in silver and blue.

3. Carl Davis, Iowa

One of the most impressive defensive players at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Davis won't last long in the draft with his profile as a dominating presence with the strength and length to excel at the next level. But the Lions' No. 23 pick could be a bit rich for Davis' draft stock, so Detroit could look to move down if it wants Davis or hope he slides to them in the second round. Consistent effort has been the primary question NFL scouts have about Davis.

4. Michael Bennett, Ohio State

Also more of a second-round option for the Lions, Bennett was the best interior presence on what might have been the best defensive line in college football last year. He is the smallest of the five on this list, at 293 pounds, but could be the most technically sound.

5. Grady Jarrett, Clemson

Jarrett dominated in his final season at Clemson as a key presence for one of the college football's best defenses. He proved to be extremely difficult to block in one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl. Jarrett is on the short side at 6-1 and lacks length, but he pursues the ball with great effort and could be a nice option for Mayhew if he decides to draft a different position in the first round.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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