Will the Lions target offense high in the draft ... again?
The Detroit Lions seemed destined to draft defensive players early and often last season after the 2011 team ranked No. 4 in NFL scoring offense. Observers were caught off-guard when the Lions selected Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff in the first round and Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles in the second. After all, this was the NFL's No. 23 defense with major issues in the secondary.
Left tackle Jeff Backus retired after 12 seasons, and right tackle Gosder Cherilus signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an unrestricted free agent. Right guard Stephen Peterman was released, and receiver Titus Young was cut for a variety reasons. Receiver Nate Burleson is recovering from a broken leg suffered in October and Ryan Broyles tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee a year after he tore his left ACL.
Reiff will start this season, but the Lions have yet to say where. He can play anywhere on the line except center. Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard are offensive tackle options, but the two have a combined five starts.
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There still are needs at cornerback, linebacker and defensive end, but the Lions might use their second-round pick on a receiver. You don't want to leave a quarterback with Matthew Stafford's abilities without weapons. That's why there's so much excitement over running back Reggie Bush joining the Lions.
Don't be shocked if the Lions are in an offensive state of mind at Radio City Music Hall in New York later this month.