The SB Nation two-round NFL mock draft continues along with each lead NFL team blogger making the pick for their team. Up now is the Detroit Lions with the No. 23 overall pick.
With the 23rd pick in the 2012 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions select North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
Pride of Detroit managing editor Sean Yuille explains his pick after the jump and I respond. For the latest on the Lions (and there's quite a bit going on), make sure to follow along at PrideOfDetroit.com.
Sean Yuille explains: As tempting as it was to go defensive line in the first round for the Lions for the third year in a row and select somebody like defensive end Whitney Mercilus, I couldn’t pass up the chance to improve the Lions’ secondary. A year ago, when it was suspected that Janoris Jenkins would go pro, many people had predicted the Lions to take him with the 13th overall pick. Then he decided to stay in school and ultimately landed at North Alabama after being kicked out of Florida.
There are definitely several character concerns surrounding Jenkins, but the Lions have a very strong locker room, especially on defense. There are a lot of leaders on the team who would take Jenkins under their wing, and he is talented enough to select, even with the concerns. He has been compared to Asante Samuel, who the Lions nearly acquired last summer and were briefly linked to at the end of March. Rather than give up a few draft picks and a high salary to trade for Samuel, the Lions’ best bet is to draft a player like Jenkins. He would fill a big need at cornerback and immediately improve the Lions’ pass defense.
Dan Kadar responds: Defensive back seems to be the obvious area of need for the Lions. The team's current expected starting corners are Chris Houston (who is solid) and Aaron Berry (who is similarly average). But Houston is in the final year of his contract and there is little quality depth. So the position is on the money. The player, however, may not be. It's hard to see the Lions going after a player like Jenkins following the drug-related issues involving running back Mikel Leshoure and defensive tackle Nick Fairley. A player like Oklahoma's Jamell Fleming may be a more appropriate choice.
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