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2014 NFL Draft Needs: Detroit Lions

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Areas of Need

1. Wide Receiver

Be it at wide receiver or tight end, the Lions canít go any longer without finding a complementary threat to take some of the pressure off Calvin Johnson. Kris Durham simply isnít good enough, while the 32-year-old Nate Burleson will likely be an offseason cap casualty. Even if Burleson sticks around, he should probably only be a No. 3 or No. 4 wideout at this stage in his career.

2. Cornerback

Rashean Mathis, 33, was arguably the Lionsí best cornerback in 2013, and heís now slated to test the waters of free agency. With a solid safety duo under contract and a strong front seven, the Lions may just be a young cornerback away from completing their defense.

3. Tight End

After five mostly disappointing seasons in Detroit, Brandon Pettigrew will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Lions probably want to move on, and red-zone threat Joseph Fauria may not be ready for a full-time role. Fauria impressed as an undrafted rookie in 2013, with seven of his 18 receptions going for touchdowns.

Potential targets

*Denotes player who declared with eligibility remaining

1. Wide Receiver

First round
-Mike Evans*, Texas A&M (6-5, 225)
-Kelvin Benjamin*, Florida State (6-5, 235)
-Marqise Lee*, Southern California, (6-0, 195)
-Allen Robinson*, Penn State (6-3, 210)

Second round
-Odell Beckham*, LSU (5-11, 195)
-Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (6-3, 205)
-Jarvis Landry*, LSU (6-0, 195)
-Brandin Cooks*, Oregon State (5-10, 185)
-Davante Adams*, Fresno State (6-2, 215)

Third round
-Paul Richardson*, Colorado (6-1, 170)
-Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (6-0, 190)
-Bruce Ellington*, South Carolina (5-9, 195)
-Mike Davis, Texas (6-1, 195)

Fourth round and later
-Brandon Coleman*, Rutgers (6-5, 220)
-Robert Herron, Wyoming (5-9, 190)
-Cody Latimer*, Indiana (6-2, 215)
-Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma (5-9, 160)

2. Cornerback

First round
-Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State (5-11, 200)
-Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State (6-0, 200)

Second round
-Jason Verrett, TCU (5-10, 176)
-Bradley Roby*, Ohio State (5-11, 190)
-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (5-8, 190)

Third round
-Marcus Roberson*, Florida (6-0, 195)
-Louchiez Purifoy*, Florida (6-0, 190)
-Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (6-0, 195)
-Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska, (6-2, 220)

Fourth round or later
-Chris Davis, Auburn (5-10, 200)
-Rashad Reynolds, Oregon State (5-10, 190)
-Deion Belue, Alabama (5-11, 185)
-Nevin Lawson, Utah State (5-10, 190)
-Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern (6-0, 185)

3. Tight End

First round
-Eric Ebron*, North Carolina (6-4, 245)
-Jace Amaro*, Texas Tech (6-5, 260)

Second round
-Austin Seferian-Jenkins*, Washington (6-6, 275)

Third round
-Troy Niklas*, Notre Dame (6-6, 270)
-C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa (6-6, 265)

Fourth round and later
-Joe Don Duncan, Dixie State (6-3, 270)
-Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin (6-4, 240)
-Arthur Lynch, Georgia (6-5, 255)
-Marcel Jensen, Fresno State (6-5, 270)

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