The Detroit Lions have eight picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 21 in the first round April 27 in Philadelphia.
They believe they answered some questions on the offensive line in free agency, although they also lost some line talent. The Lions are banking on tackle Rick Wagner and guard T.J. Lang being an upgrade over departed tackle Riley Reiff and guard Larry Warford.
Help in the front seven on defense will likely be a focus in the early rounds.
Here is a look at the Lions' five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2016 season. Below that are key personnel moves made this year and the team's current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2017 picks.
FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2012 . .2013 . .2014 . .2015 . .2016
TOTAL PICKS . . . .8 . . . . . .9 . . . . .8 . . . . .7 . . .10
STARTERS . . . . . .2 . . . . . .5 . . . . .3 . . . . .1 . . . .3
BACKUPS . . . . . .0 . . . . . .1 . . . . .1 . . . . .5 . . . .7
OTHER TEAMS . . .0 . . . . .2 . . . . .3 . . . . .1 . . . .0
OUT OF LEAGUE . .6 . . . . .1 . . . . .1 . . . . .0 . . .0
Top three draft needs
1. Linebacker: The Lions signed Paul Worrilow as a potential DeAndre Levy replacement, but still need an infusion of playmakers in the middle of their defense. For now, Worrilow, Tahir Whitehead and Antwione Williams are the projected starters at linebacker. While they also added Nick Bellore (49ers), it's possible the Lions use a first-round pick on an upgrade, and almost surely will draft a linebacker by the end of Day 2.
2. Wide receiver: Anquan Boldin is a free agent and could return at some point this spring, but the Lions need another pass catcher at a minimum as insurance for Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. For now, Keshawn Martin, Jace Billingsley and TJ Jones are Nos. 3-5 on the depth chart; that is not an inspiring trio.
3. Defensive end: Ziggy Ansah should be better after he struggled most of last season with a high ankle sprain, but the Lions don't have a clear-cut starter at left end. Cornelius Washington, Kerry Hyder, Armonty Bryant and Anthony Zettel also are on the roster, but Ansah is the only proven pass rusher of the bunch.
1/21): T.J. Watt, DE/OLB, Wisconsin (6-4, 252, 4.69)
2/53: Duke Riley, LB, LSU (6-0, 232, 4.58)
3/85: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington (6-2, 204, 4.56)
4/128: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma (5-11, 233, 4.59)
5/165: Johnathan Ford, S, Auburn (5-11, 205, 4.39)
6/205: Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan (6-1, 188, 4.59)
6/215: Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE, Northwestern (6-3, 258, 4.72)
7/250: Andrew Eide, G/C, BYU (6-5, 302, 5.17)
Now it's your turn. NFLDraftScout.com is ready to help with its list of the top 1,000 prospects in this draft.
--Frank Cooney and TSX NFL team insiders contributed to this analysis.