Detroit Lions fans will have to wait a little longer than usual to see who they draft in the 2012 draft.
Detroit has the No. 23 pick in the draft, the lowest pick since the 1992 draft when the Lions selected defensive end Robert Porcher out of South Carolina State with the No. 26 overall pick.
Most have identified the Lions biggest needs at offensive line and defensive back but Detroit has been known to surprise in the draft. (i.e. Calvin Johnson (2007) and Nick Fairley (2011).
Below are what various experts project the Lions to do:
Saints quarterback Drew Brees drops back for a pass. Photo Credit: Michael C. Herbert/ New Orleans Saints
The 2011 season was a great one for the Detroit Lions.
They won 10 games for the first time since the 1995 season. They went to the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season, and had two players, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, set team records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, and recieving touchdowns.
But that season came to an end Saturday night when the Lions lost an NFC wildcard playoff game 45-28 to the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In front of a raucous crowd, the Lions (10-6) jumped out to a fast start,taking their opening possession 85 yards on eight plays and scoring on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to tight end Will Heller.
New Orleans Saints receiver Robert Meachem (17) and running back Pierre Thomas (26) celebrate a touchdown during the Lions and Saints first meeting on Dec. 4. Photo Credit/Michael C. Herbert/ New Orleans Saints
When the Lions and Saints played earlier this season,Detroit hurt themselves by committing 11 penalties for 107 yards en route to a 31-17 loss that dropped the teams record to 7-5.
The Lions (10-6) need to play mistake free football if they are going to change that result when they play the Saints for the second time in an NFC wildcard playoff game Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The game will be the first playoff game for Detroit since the 1999 season.
Detroit is coming off of a thrilling 45-41 loss at Green Bay in the regular season finale. A game in which they gave up 550 yards of total offense and allowed back-up Packers quarterback Matt Flynn to throw for 480 yards and six touchdowns , both Packer records.
Reciever Calvin Johnson makes a catch in front of Chargers safety Eric Weddle. Photo Courtesy of Gavin Smith/ Detroit Lions
For the first time since the 1999 season, the Detroit Lions will be in the NFL playoffs.
Detroit (10-5) clinched the birth in dominating fashion Saturday afternoon defeating the San Diego Chargers (7-8) 38-10.
“There will be a time that we wont celebrate getting into the playoffs,” head coach Jim Schwartz said. “But its not going to be tonight, its been a long time coming and its something that we haven’t done for a long time. It was really nice to do it at home.”
The Lions dominated the game from start to finish and led 24-0 at halftime. The offense was rolling from the first play of the game when quarterback Matthew Stafford completed a 46-yard pass to Calvin Johnson.
“Our plan was to come out and be aggressive,” Stafford said. “This was a great team win, for us as a team, the city of Detroit and the fans its an awesome thing.”