2010 record: 6-10, fourth place NFC North
2011 draft rundown
Six total picks (round): 13 (1), 44 (2), 75 (3), 107 (4), 154 (5), 205 (7)
Outside linebacker: This was by far the weakest link in the defense last season and three of the four players who started are gone. The problem is, there is a pronounced scarcity of outside linebackers in this draft that fit the Lions' 4-3 scheme.
Cornerback: The Lions have tendered Chris Houston, but there is still a chance he could be lost to free agency once the new collective bargaining agreement is in place. On the other side are promising but unproven players like Alphonso Smith and Prince Miller.
Offensive line: This unit is expected to return intact next season, but that line includes 34-year-old LT Jeff Backus entering the final year of his contract and RT Gosder Cherilus coming off micro-fracture knee surgery.
Running back: The Lions released Kevin Smith, leaving them with second-year Jahvid Best and veteran Maurice Morris. They have for years now lacked a true power back.
First round focus
--Quarterback Matthew Stafford hasn't stayed healthy in either of his two seasons with the Lions, and with questions surrounding the future of Jeff Backus (age, 2012 free agent) and Gosder Cherlius (microfracture surgery), it seems like the Lions may have great interest in one of the top tackles in this class. However, the team's situation at linebacker could push them to select versatile Akeem Ayers instead of waiting until the second or third round, as depth there is truly lacking. And if number two-ranked corner Prince Amukamara were to fall to them, he may be tough to pass up.
Five names on Lions' board
--OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
--OT Tyron Smith, Southern Cal
--OT Nate Solder, Colorado
--OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
--CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter