From the Combine: Getting Another D-Lineman Would Also Add to the Back Seven

The only position the Detroit Lions have acknowledged they “aren’t in the market for” is quarterback.

Aside from that, just about every position is fair game.

Even defensive line – where the Detroit Lions showed significant improvement last season – could benefit from added depth.

“That has to be the strength of our team in the future and that’s a big part of what we do defensively,” said General Manager Martin Mayhew. “A big part of our defensive philosophy right now is to pressure the quarterback.”

This is considered a deep draft in terms of defensive ends in particular.

Players Aldon Smith of Missouri, Cameron Jordon of California, JJ Watt of Wisconsin and Adrian Clayborn of Iowa are some of the top prospects.

“There are a lot of intriguing guys in this draft on the defensive line,” said Mayhew. “That’s definitely an area we’re looking to address and there are some interesting prospects there.”

Detroit jumped from 26 sacks in 2009 (29th) to 44 in 2010 (6th).

It’s no coincidence that the Lions also saw their interception total go up from two in 2009 to 14 in 2010. That added pressure on opposing quarterbacks forced the ball out faster and resulted in more errant throws.

So while fans have expressed their interest taking a linebacker or defensive back with the 13th-overall selection, taking a defensive lineman at that spot may have just as much – if not more – of an impact.

Because, as the defensive line improves, so does the back seven.

“There are a couple of real versatile guys that can play defensive end and then go in and rush inside at defensive tackle,” said Mayhew.

“But you also have to consider that, an area that looks like it could be deep right now may not a month from now. “You could be looking at only two or three guys you really like in that group.”

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