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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Would Lions move up for Mark Barron?

By Kevin Seifert

From a Detroit Lions perspective, I got lucky in our ESPN.com blogger mock earlier this week. Cornerback and safety are probably the Lions' two top needs, and for reasons I did not anticipate, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was still available at No. 23 and the obvious pick for me/Lions.

But what if Thursday night's draft plays out a different way? Can the Lions really be assured that a cornerback, be it Kirkpatrick or South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore, will fall to No. 23? And based on recent speculation, there appears to be no chance that Alabama safety Mark Barron will fall into the second half of the round, let alone No. 23.

That makes the Lions a likely candidate to move up in the first round, and ESPN's John Clayton reported Thursday afternoon that they were among a handful of teams inquiring about the feasibility of moving up perhaps 10-12 spots to grab a defensive back, most likely Barron but possibly Gilmore.

General manager Martin Mayhew is no stranger to moving up, having done it in 2010 to select tailback Jahvid Best and tailback Mikel Leshoure in 2011, among other instances.

A playmaking safety alongside Louis Delmas would significantly change the look of the Lions' defense. So would a second reliable cornerback next to Chris Houston.

So we have at least two of the necessary ingredients here. The Lions have a need and a decision-maker who is unafraid to invest significant resources to secure a particular player. Now the Lions need to find a willing trade partner at the right price. That's all. Stay tuned.