When Martin Mayhew said last week that the Lions’ pick at No 13 might not be a starter, the general manager opened the door wide for speculation.
Even before he said that though, taking an offensive tackle has been an option at that spot in the first round.
If it was up to Tim Ryan, who will do draft analysis on Sirius Radio, he would take OT Tyron Smith (USC) over CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska), if there was a choice.
“I would take the offensive tackle, I’m protecteding the Wells Fargo truck who's at quarterback the next 10 years,’’ Ryan said in a conference call on Monday. Of course, the truck in this scenario is Matthew Stafford.
Ryan, a former NFL offensive lineman, really loves Tyron Smith (6-foot-5, 307 pounds) who at age 20 is obviously young, but athleticism is his upside.
“He’s a baby, you look at him from a maturity standpoint, from a physical standpoint, the guy is really young, he has room to put on a good 15-20 pounds. There’s no fat on the kid, he’s tremendously athletic. I know he had a little bit of a knee thing, everything I’ve heard is fine, I’ve talked to guys down at USC about it,’’ Ryan said during a conference call on Monday.
“He played right tackle, I think he’s got left tackle written all over him with a little bit of time, he’ll need to deveop,’’ Ryan said.
“The upside when you look at the ability is tremendous, I can’t thnk of an offensive tackle with his skill sets that has come out -- you can say Bruce Campbell but this is a whole different kind of player -- I think he can be really special based on his athletic ability and room to grow and learn the game,’’ Ryan added.
His Sirius colleague Rich Gannon agreed, noting Smith had the second widest wingspan at the Combine. His weakness was weight lifting, but as Gannon pointed out, you can teach that.
Smith wouldn’t necessarily be a starter, but the Lions have Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus.
They’re looking to the future to replace Backus who is 33.
Of course there’s the possibility that Smith will be taken before the Lions have a chance. Same with Amukamara.
That’s what makes 13 an interesting pick for the Lions.
(Follow me on Twitter @PaulaPasche.)
Labels: Detroit Lions, NFL draft, paula pasche, Sirius Radio, Tim Ryan, Tyron Smith, USC