10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: Who in May's NFL Draft would make most immediate impact for Lions?

Posted Apr 8, 2014

Senior writer Tim Twentyman answers 10 questions from his Twitter account (@ttwentyman), including his take on Suh's absence from voluntary offseason workouts, impact players in the draft and more

From time to time this offseason I will answer 10 good questions I receive through my Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

Ndamukong SuhDT Ndamukong Suh (Photo: AP Images)

Why do people get so up in arms about players not showing up to an "optional" workout? Brad Snyder (@BradSnyder1833)

20man: I can see why some people would look down on a player like Ndamukong Suh not participating in the first day of workouts. He was a team captain last year and some feel there’s an obligation that comes with that title to be here for the start of the offseason training program.

Me personally, I know that whenever Suh arrives this offseason he’ll be in terrific shape and will be a better player than he was when he left here in January. Isn’t that what really matters?

Maybe Suh thinks he can prepare for the season better with his own workout. It’s made him a three-time Pro Bowl player. If that’s the case, maybe Suh could have benefited by showing up for Day 1 and then went about his normal schedule. He didn't, however.

There are few players that take care of their bodies better than Suh does. I’m sure his teammates and the organization will be just fine with Suh showing up in shape and ready to dominate.

Do you think the Lions and Suh will reach a deal before or after the draft? Rolo (@rolo_thomas)

20man: Not likely before the draft.

This deal will likely make Suh the richest defensive tackle in the history of football. Deals like that are usually pretty complicated.

I expect the timeline for this deal to get done to be similar to Matthew Stafford’s $53 million extension last year. That deal wasn’t signed until July.

Mayhew said he didn't see "10 elite players," in this draft.  Increased chance to trade up/down?  If so which way/for who? Cameron Jones (@jonescameronm)

20man: In my opinion, there are three players in this draft worth moving up for: receiver Sammy Watkins, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and linebacker Khalil Mack.

If the Lions have the chance to move up to get one of those players, without giving up the farm (or a lot of 2013 picks), those players are immediate impact players and worth moving up for.

This is also the deepest draft in probably a decade, so moving back is certainly an option, too. If the Lions can move back and pick up an extra second rounder, that's likely an extra starter/contributor in 2014.

In the end, as always, it will depend on the board. If the Lions feel strongly enough about a player, like they did in 2011 about Patrick Peterson, they’ve shown they’re not afraid to try and move up to get a player.

What one player from the draft would help the Lions the most, immediately? Brentyball (@TheBrentyBall)

20man: As I mentioned above, Watkins, Clowney and Mack are the three biggest impact players in this draft, in my opinion.

If I had to pick one player who’d have the most immediate impact for the Lions I'd say Clowney. Here’s a guy you could line up opposite Ziggy Ansah and probably have a defense that features the two most athletic, young defensive ends in football.

Ansah, Suh, Nick Fairley and Clowney would be fun to watch. Just saying.

Watkins is a terrific talent, and will obviously make an impact, but Megatron is still going to be the top dog in Detroit no matter what receiver is brought in.

If you could pick one player other than Suh and Calvin Johnson to have a pro bowl season in 2014, who would it be? Eric Theisen (@eric_theisen)

20man: Good question.

Fans would love for it to be Stafford. If Stafford is a Pro Bowler in 2014 the Lions are probably in pretty good playoff shape.

I’m going to predict Larry Warford, though. There were a lot of people jumping on his bandwagon late last year and I expect him to be even better in 2014. It took him a little time to adjust to the pro game during training camp last year. Now he knows what to expect and will hit the ground running.

The Lions found a Pro Bowl-caliber guard for the next 10 years in Warford.

My sleeper Pro Bowl pick for the Lions in 2014 would be Ziggy Ansah.

Does Ihegidbo seem like a better fit than Delmas? Pretty sure you said Delmas was the heart of the defense (@XsailorcoyeX)

20man: He was the heart and soul of the defense from an emotional standpoint and the energy he provided on the field.

As far as his performance on the field, it declined as his knee troubles persisted. That’s just a fact.

Ihedigbo will play strong safety, whereas Delmas plays free safety, so the question should actually be if Glover Quin will be a better fit than Delmas?

I think he will. In his prime, Delmas was probably a better cover man than Quin, but it’s close enough. The thing about Quin is that he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s always where he’s supposed to be and he makes the plays in front of him. He’s reliable, which any defensive coordinator will tell you is good to have.

Realistically how big of a role do you think Fauria will play at the beginning of the season? AJ Kraus (@aj_kraus)

20man: That’s up to Fauria and the work he puts in this offseason. I talked to him in February and he was excited at the prospects of playing in an offense similar to the one that featured Jimmy Graham.

“I'm not calling myself Jimmy Graham, but I strive to have the kind of production he has.” Fauria told me. “I think I can contribute very similarly to how he has with the Saints."

The Lions plan to feature Fauria in the red zone again this year, but are eager to see if he can contribute more between the 20’s. I think he can and we'll see a big increase in his catch totals in 2014.

How productive do you expect Golden Tate to be, in comparison to his last season? Trevor Christensen (@trevorbialek9)

20man: I see Tate getting a lot of opportunities to make plays opposite Johnson. The Lions will move him around and get him in space and I think we’ll see a 60-plus-catch season with 1,000 yards worth of production from him.

What do u see as the Lions answer to the position of place kicker? Is the answer in the draft or FA? Mike Garrett (@MLG0298)

20man: The Lions currently have two young kickers on the roster in John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio and could potentially draft one late.

The Lions are going to head into the 2014 season with one of those players as their kicker. I don't see any veterans being brought in unless the guys on the roster aren't getting it done in camp.

What are you most excited for in the coming season? New coaching? Lombardi's play calling? Having a WR2 finally? Samuel (@Samuel_J5)

20man: Honestly, and I really mean this, I just want to write about meaningful football in December. There are a lot of terrific storylines surrounding this team heading into 2014, and Mike O’Hara and I will cover them all on, but there’s nothing worse for a beat writer than covering meaningless football games.

I’m looking forward to covering a competitive team, which I think the 2014 version of the Lions will be.