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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions - How the 8 draft picks will fit in

A quick look at the eight players drafted by the Detroit Lions and how they are expected to fit in:

1. Tight end Eric Ebron is an immediate starter who will complement Brandon Pettigrew and Joe Fauria. 
Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi: “He is going to line up all over the place and you are going to have to find him. That’s kind of one of our goals in not wanting to be predictable for defenses. We don’t want them to say, ‘Calvin (Johnson) is always here, we know how to deal with it.’ You just want to keep mixing it up so the defense can never really hone in on what your plan is.”  

2. Outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy will have a limited role as a starter according to Martin Mayhew. That means he’s likely to play the strong outside linebacker spot. 
Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin: “When you look at being able to pressure from different parts of your defense and not wanting to be static, you have to have some backers that have to ability to rush. I think that is what he does. He gives us that ability. He can drop in coverage, he can rush. When you put him on the field you can’t just say he is going to rush every time, that’s not going to be him and he gives us flexibility that way.”

3. Offensive lineman Travis Swanson played center at Arkansas but at training camp will learn to play guard. He’s seen as a possible successor to center Dominic Raiola.
Offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn: “We have to get him on campus first to evaluate what he can do for us. That is a positive for him. He played guard at the Senior Bowl ... He was a center for 50 games at Arkansas, but he does profile as a guy that can play guard. I don’t know yet, but that will get narrowed down when he gets on campus.”

4. Cornerback Nevin Lawson will compete to see time at cornerback and is expected to step in on special teams. Chris Houston and Darius Slay can be penciled in as starters, but there’s definitely going to be competition at cornerback.
General manager Martin Mayhew (a former NFL cornerback): “You put the tape on, this kid can run. He’s fast. His play speed is faster than his time speed in the 40 at the combine. He’s very productive, solid in man-to-man coverage, very scrappy. (He is) a very competitive kid. When you watch him, he is the kind of corner that I like.’’

5. Defensive end Larry Webster played at Bloomsburg so will have catching up to do to play at NFL level.
Mayhew: “Just a really, really athletic guy, great combine numbers, great workout numbers. (He is) very raw. He obviously played some tight end. He’s going to be a defensive end for us. ... He’ll be a bigger, more-physical, Jason Jones-type of guy, you know.’’

6. Defensive tackle Caraun Reid could land on the practice squad just because he played at Princeton and needs to bulk up — he’s 6-foot-2, 302 pounds. 
Mayhew: “We felt great about him as a football player. He has some development he can do (from the) Ivy League. He’ll be in an NFL program now, NFL training table. We’re looking forward to having him on our team and developing him.’’

7. Wide receiver T.J. Jones (in photo) could slide into the 53-man roster with a good training camp to beat out the many other wide receiver candidates. He was a playmaker at Notre Dame who converted a lot of third downs and was a go-to guy in the red zone.
Mayhew: “This is a guy, you know, he’s probably going to be, and you can talk to the coaches, I like him as a slot guy running routes, getting separation. I thought he had really good hands and ran really nice routes, really crisp routes.’’

8. Kicker Nate Freese will compete with two young kickers already on the roster. He played four years outdoors at Boston College which should prepare him for Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota (the next two years).
Mayhew: “He didn’t miss a field goal last year. I think he missed two in 2012 I think, but a very accurate guy. (He is) very consistent, and I visited with him when he came here for his visit. He was not invited to the combine, so we brought him here for a physical. We talked about him in the sixth round and we decided to wait. He was still there in the seventh, so we’re glad that we got him.”

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


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