Lack of top quarterback talent could limit Detroit Lions' options at No. 5

Posted Apr 1, 2013

With a lack of quarterbacks projected to go in the top 10 of this year's draft, many teams will be looking at the next two positions of value: left tackles and pass rushers

No position prompts more movement annually in the draft than quarterback.

Teams realize they can no longer win a Super Bowl without good quarterback play, and those in need of a quarterback will usually go to great lengths to secure one in the draft if they feel good about his future.

The Washington Redskins surrendered three first-round draft picks and a second-round pick in order to select Robert Griffin III last year.

This year's quarterback class, however, is a bit underwhelming. West Virginia's Geno Smith is the top quarterback available but is ranked 24th on Mel Kiper's Big Board and Scout Inc. rates him as the 20th-best player in the draft.

Coincidentally, teams in need of a quarterback this offseason have instead looked to fill that need via free agency.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who own the No. 1 pick in next month's draft, traded for former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith earlier this offseason. No longer in need of a quarterback, it makes sense for the Chiefs to look at either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher -- the top two left tackle prospects available.

Luke JoeckelT Luke Joeckel

The Oakland Raiders own the third overall pick, and after trading for Seattle's Matt Flynn on Monday, they too could now be looking to select a tackle or defensive lineman.

Two teams who draft after the Lions – Cardinals (No. 7) and Bills (No. 8) – have also recently acquired quarterbacks, which makes it less likely they'd now move up to draft a quarterback and allow one of those tackles or defensive lineman to slip one spot closer to the Lions at No. 5.

The Cardinals are rumored to be close to acquiring Carson Palmer via trade and the Bills signed free agent Kevin Kolb.

After quarterback, the top two positions of value at the top of the draft are left tackles and pass rushers.

The Lions could be on the lookout for both in a few weeks, but will the top ones still be on the board when quarterbacks aren't expected to be among the top picks? Instead of teams jockeying around to get their quarterback of the future, there's the potential teams will stay put and draft their slot.

Obviously, the Lions don't have a need for a quarterback and the best-case scenario for them is that one or two teams ahead of them select a quarterback and move the players they do want down a slot.

It doesn't appear they'll be so lucky.