Lions’ draft backup plan could include UCLA’s Akeem Ayers


The Detroit News

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew has always entered the draft with the thought of taking the best player available when it’s his time to hand in the draft card.

The best example of that was in 2008, when he picked tight end Brandon Pettigrew with the No. 20 overall pick when the Lions had pressing needs at other positions, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.

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ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his “backup plans” for each team for April’s NFL draft Friday, and Kiper thinks the Lions could go a number of different ways with the No. 13 pick.

“Detroit really needs to get secondary help, but if (Prince) Amukamara is gone, they may feel like Colorado’s Jimmy Smith is a slight reach,” Kiper wrote. “But they need linebacking help too, and (Akeem) Ayers would fit. They could also consider a trade down to get better value with an offensive line pick.”

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