The debate will rage from now until the Detroit Lions make their first pick in the NFL draft in three weeks. Actually, the conversation may last days or weeks beyond that night.
The issue is whether the Lions should bolster the defense with their fifth overall pick or add an offensive tackle.
That’s how ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper sees it. He thinks the Lions can fill both defensive positions in the first and second rounds.
"Either one (would fit). You need a corner in that division. A corner like Milliner would be very, very important. Pass rush is critical as well. You can't throw the ball if you're running for your life and you're on your back, so either player (Milliner or Ansah) would make sense for the Lions,’’ KIper said in a conference call on Wednesday.
"Then you could come back in the second round, depending on how the first round went, and you can look at Bjoern Werner (Florida State defensive end) if you got the corner.
“If you got a defensive end, then you can look at a corner at that point, like D.J. Hayden from Houston. I think it's going to fall well for them to get the corner and defensive end at some combination in the first/second round,’’ Kiper continued.
The Lions love speedy corners and Milliner, who played at Alabama, ran a 4.37 at the NFL Combine.
Ansah, who played at BYU, is more of a 4-3 defensive end that Dion Jordan (Oregon) who should also go top five or 10. The Lions have a critical need at the defensive end position after releasing Kyle Vanden Bosch. Jason Jones, who was signed as a free agent, is expected to start in Cliff Avril’s spot.
Jacksonville, which has the second pick, is also looking for a defensive end but Jordan could better fit their needs — at least that’s the way Kiper sees it.
The Lions expect Riley Reiff, last year’s top pick, to start at left or right tackle. Both spots are open and two of the top draft prospects are tackles — Eric Fisher (Rochester’s Stoney Creek, Central Michigan) and Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M). They could both be gone when the Lions pick at No. 5.
Lions Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard could compete to start at either tackle.