Linebacker Aaron Curry would fill huge need for Lions at top of draft; Cardinals looking at running back.
The Detroit Lions have the worst defense in the NFL — one of the worst defenses ever, in fact.
The Lions gave up 517 points last season, second most in NFL history. Only the 1981 Baltimore Colts allowed more (533). Detroit has given up more points than it has scored in each of its last 17 games.
They say defense wins championships. It also wins games. When the Lions start playing competitively on defense, they can start winning games again.
Hiring Jim Schwartz as their new head coach in 2009 was a start. He coordinated defenses at Tennessee the last two seasons that ranked in the NFL’s top seven.
But the Lions need more than a new scheme. They need new players.
The Lions ranked last in the NFL in both defense and run defense in 2009.
Linebacker Aaron Curry of Wake Forest is the best defensive player on the draft board. He can plug in at middle linebacker for the Lions between Julian Peterson and Ernie Sims.
So give Curry to the Lions in this mock draft offering:
Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest — The first LB taken first overall since ‘88
2. St. Louis
Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia — The Rams aren’t sold on Marc Bulger
3. Kansas City
Jason Smith, OT, Baylor — Best player available at any position upgrades the Chiefs
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC — Matt Hasselbeck turns 34 in September
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech — The Browns may trade Braylon Edwards before the draft
Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia — The Bengals need to protect QB Carson Palmer better
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri — Al Davis sees Tim Brown all over again
Andre Smith, OT, Alabama — Forget his weight — Smith is the best blocker in this draft
9. Green Bay
Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State — Both starting corners are in their 30s
10. San Francisco
Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State — Could be the Ben Roethlisberger of this draft
Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU — NFL’s 22nd-ranked run defense becomes more stout
B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College — Broncos need to get bigger, better in defensive front seven
Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State — Redskins hope Maybin can give them what Jason Taylor didn’t
14. New Orleans
Beanie Wells, HB, Ohio State — Saints envision Wells as their new Deuce McAllister
Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas — Texans need help for Mario Williams up front
16. San Diego
Knowshon Moreno, HB, Georgia — LT older, Darren Sproles headed toward free agency in 2010
17. NY Jets
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida — With WR Laveranues Coles gone, Jets need big plays on flank
Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee — Broncos need to get bigger, better in defensive front seven
19. Tampa Bay
Brian Cushing, OLB, USC — Both starting outside linebackers gone from 2008
Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi — Both starting defensive tackles gone from 2008
Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi — Andy Reid loves off ensive and defensive linemen
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland — Better receiver play means better quarterback play
23. New England
Rey Maualuga, MLB, USC — Maualuga and Jerod Mayo would forge a dynamic middle
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois — The NFL’s 21st-ranked pass defense needs his cover skills
Clay Matthews, OLB, USC — Bill Parcells loves stocking the defensive front seven
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Okla. St. — Ravens always draft the best value on the board
Ziggy Hood, DT, Missouri — GM Polian is tired of playing with free agents at DT
Eben Britton, OT, Arizona — Trading Pro Bowler Jason Peters creates a huge hole at LT
29. NY Giants
Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers — Giants need a size receiver to replace Plaxico Burress
James Laurinaitis, MLB, Ohio St. — Quality LBs will go fast in this draft
Donald Brown, HB, Connecticut — The heir apparent to Edgerrin James
Eric Wood, C, Louisville — Wood can play inside at center or guard
Patrick Chung, S, Oregon — Wide receiver a need but safety is a pressing need