Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions 2014 Draft Preview: Justin Gilbert


So, is it just me, or does the NFL off-season always take WAY too long?

Well, hopefully I can help quench your football thirst a bit with a breakdown of some possible Detroit Lions draft prospects in 2014.  I plan on covering a couple prospects a week, rather than jam them all into one post.  If you guys have a prospect you’d like covered, drop me a line on our Facebook or on Twitter.  I am also going to be following the rules of mocks, no covering of any players that we would trade up for.  So Sammy Watkins will probably not get one of these [unless reader demand says otherwise].

So let’s get to it, I’m going to be covering Justin Gilbert first, since he seems to be the near unanimous pick that fans want to see at #10.


  • Elite Speed
  • Great in Man Coverage
  • Got “Burned” on only 16% of routes against him in man coverage
  • Strong, big frame, and long arms which help create a smaller window for the QB
  • Doesn’t hold or get “grabby” when he falls behind his receiver
  • Excellent leaping ability, can climb the ladder to make plays
  • Has a Natural feel for the game, great instincts


  • Didn’t play much press coverage, when he did, he couldn’t get a good hit on his receiver and would fall behind almost immediately
  • Stiff footwork, harder for him to defend quick routes [Digs, comebacks, etc.]
  • Doesn’t care to make plays against the run, tends to become passive and give up when a run develops
  • Not very good in zone coverage, “Burned” on roughly 30% of routes against him in zone
  • In zone coverage, gives the QB easy underneath routes, sits on the routes too long
  • Likes to drop his shoulder for the big hit instead of wrapping up
  • Immature at times, tries to coast through games on his athletic ability alone

Gilbert has been compared to guys like Patrick Peterson and Jonathan Joseph, a bigger corner with the physical tools needed to succeed at the next level.  He’s a player that we could use right away to give our secondary a much needed boost in pass protection.  Aside from an altercation against West Virginia in which he threw some punches and was ejected, Gilbert doesn’t have any glaring on field problems or off field character issues.  I believe that Gilbert’s negatives can all be fixed with effort on his part as well as having coaching that will work with him.  I think if the Lions go this route at 10, that Gilbert could very well become a franchise type player who could be that leader on defense and in the secondary the Lions have so desperately needed for so long.

~Daniel Nowaczyk

Don’t Believe it?  Watch some highlight tape

Next Prospect: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix

About Daniel Nowaczyk

I cover Soccer and the Detroit Lions for Detroit Sports Nation. I love my fiance, my family, my pups, sports, cooking and video games.

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  1. Babymaker

    April 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I’m just excited for the new season ahead..the lions are moving up to the big show ..I love what they did in the off season so far ..but look forward to the draft.I find whoever they pick up will be an asset to the team for years to come! Nows our time! Let it Shine!

  2. Pingback: Detroit Lions 2014 Draft Preview: Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix

  3. Pingback: Detroit Lions Draft Preview: Evans vs Watkins

  4. Eric Draven

    May 8, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Trade down, we need lot’s of help, WR,CB,S,DE,DT,LB,C, LG,QB,K,TE we need one of each of those positions in this draft for this team to have good depth and to prepare for guys leaving soon.

  5. John Jordan

    May 8, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Caldwell has said from the beginning “It is time to Win not build” so trade up and try to get Clowney or Mack we need Defense more. We can get offensive help in the later rounds plus add defense.

  6. Tim Pearson

    May 8, 2014 at 8:06 am

    As long as we do not go Oline I will be fine.

  7. Shawn Patton

    May 8, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Not a fan of trading away picks, but if we end with Watkins hopefully it won’t cost a lot of picks. I’d be happy with Watkins, Evans, Becham Jr or Ebron with the 1st pick and then concentrate on defense for the rest of the draft,LB’s and OLB’s. My top 2 favorite picks are Watkins and Becham Jr

  8. Dan Titus

    May 8, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Defense, Defense, Defense!!

  9. Matt Henderson

    May 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Do Not Trade Up

  10. Lenci Tr

    May 8, 2014 at 9:12 am

    This just in, breaking news: The Detroit Lions have traded every draft pick they have for this draft and next 3 drafts to move all the way up to number 9 and select… the kicker from St. Valley State community college.
    We can all agree that the kicking game was what cost us a playoff birth last year so this move makes perfect sense if you are the Detroit Lions.

  11. Daniel Colby

    May 8, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Trade up for Sammy!!!

  12. Larry McClish

    May 8, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Drafting Watkins will be a good move but not so much if Stafford doesn’t improve significantly. Really need secondary help.

  13. Brad Wagner

    May 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

    But if you trade up we won’t have the later picks to fill the holes we have

  14. Brad Wagner

    May 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Trade down get a corner then get a wr in the 2nd and defense the rest

  15. Garret Ireland

    May 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

    take Dennard from MSU and keep him in State

  16. Thomas L Attard

    May 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I just hope and pray…..the Lions don’t screw it up and trade up for Watkins! I pray….Maynew isn’t that stupid! They need to add on DEFENSE…..CB, LB, Safety, DE….to name a few!

  17. Jim Wilson

    May 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Trade suh and the 10, for a later 1, a 2 and a 4

  18. John Jordan

    May 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Not all the picks will have to come out of this years draft

  19. Brian Armstrong

    May 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Defense first… Offense later rds..

  20. Johnathan Bray

    May 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I think so Lions will get Sammy Watkins in the first round tonight. Go Lions!!