Let's get something straight here guys...the question is what is the Lions greatest need. I believe that it is CB, above anything else. However, I NEVER said that the Lions should take a CB in the first round, did I.....DID I?? No, I think not.
Just for clarity sake m2k, I wasn't inferring that you wanted a CB with our #1 pick. I fully understood what was being asked. We were being asked to rank our team's needs. I still say it's the DL for the previously mentioned reasons that the DL make CBs better moreso than the other way around. If there's a need for both, and there is, DL is simply a more important positon to solidify.
So what you are saying is that good coverage doesn't allow linemen more time to reach the passer? I'm sorry, but it works both ways.
I have pointed out how opposing QBs have been able to take shorter drops and deliver the ball quickly, thereby nullifying a successful pass rush.
And most NFL people will tell you that when it comes to judging the importance of players, it comes down to quarterbacks, offensive tackles, cornerbacks and pass rushers. Typically those pass rushers are either your defensive ends or rush linebackers, not your interior defensive linemen. Yes, they can add to the pass rush and generate sacks, but rarely do you see a DT leading his team in sacks or hurries.
I'm not going to debate which position is more important, because it really does very much depend on the defense being run and the quality of players currently on the roster.
Here's an interesting stat for you:
Minnesota led the NFL in sacks in 2009 with 48. However, the generated only 11 picks. Their overall defensive ranking against the pass? 19th.
The Jacksonville Jaguars has the NFL low in sacks in 2009, with only 14 as a team. But they also ended up with 15 picks. Oddly, they somehow ranked higher against the pass defensively than the Lions, who got 26 sacks, but only 9 picks on the season.
The Lions opposing QBs averaged a rating of 107.0 against them. They gave up a league worst 17 plays via the pass of 40+ yards. Some of that could be attributed to poor pass rush. But much more I would attribute to poor coverage and even worse tackling after the catch. The Lions averaged giving up 30 more yards per game in the air than Jacksonville, despite the Jags getting 12 less sacks. And it wasn't like teams were passing more against the Lions because they couldn't run against them. They passed against the Lions because that was how they could more successfully move the ball down the field.
The Lions gave up first downs on passes 39% of the time, more than any other club. Many of those were times that I've described, when the opposing QB would take a short drop and couldn't get the ball out of his hand fast enough because his receivers were already open less than two seconds after the snap.
I agree the Lions need a better pass rush, and it would help the secondary...but only IF we had a secondary worth mentioning. We have no pass coverage talent at all. Not Louis Delmas, not Ko Simpson, not Phillip Buchanon, not William James......N-O-B-O-D-Y.
We can at least generate some semblance of a pass rush with Avril, Peterson and Hunter. Minimal, I agree. But we got something there.
So while I understand your personal feelings that improvements must be made to the defensive line for improved pass rush, and I agree with that notion, I certainly don't agree that addressing the defensive line is a more critical need than getting a good coverage corner. Defensive linemen have others around them to cover their mistakes. Corners have nobody to cover their mistakes. It is why they are a high priced and coveted commodity.