Lions get busy (and Stanton) in round two

Lions get busy (and Stanton) in round two

The Detroit Lions jumped around more in the second-round than they have ever have on draft day, securing three more players -- including Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton -- before the round was finished.

Rod Marinelli may be defensive minded, but that didn't prevent the Detroit Lions from spending their first choice on a receiver, and their initial second-round draft choice on Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton.

The Lions were able to nab Stanton (No. 43) after moving down 10 spots in a trade with Buffalo; Detroit picked up an additional third-round pick (which they would later trade to move back into round two) in the deal.

Stanton was a surprise pick given Detroit's need for a defensive player (and the availability of the higher-rated Trent Edwards of Stanford), but was somewhat legitimized after the Lions made their second big trade of day: sending backup QB Josh McCown and receiver Mike Williams to Oakland in exchange for a single, fourth-round choice.

McCown had previously demanded a trade, while Williams -- the No. 10 overall pick of 2005 -- never attended the team's voluntary off-season training program and was considered blacklisted by the team's coaching staff.

Stanton is considered a bit of a project, but might have been one of the most, if not the most impressive quarterback during February's NFL combine. His Pro-Day workout only confirmed that his athleticism and powerful arm were NFL-ready.

Stanton, 6-4, will battle it out for the back-up position with current Lions back-up and former fifth-round pick Dan Orlovsky.

(A handful of analysts felt that Stanton was a Matt Millen-engineered pick, and while that might hold water, Martz graded Edwards and Stanton about the same. In the end, the Lions just felt Stanton had more upside).

Detroit secured two defensive players at the bottom of round two, grabbing Hawaii defensive end and athletic phenom Ikaika Alama-Francis (No. 58 through New Orleans) in addition to Boise State free-safety Gerald Alexander (No. 61 through Baltimore).

Each player is considered incredibly athletic, but the Lions failed to address other pressing concerns, such as cornerback and middle linebacker. Alama-Francis and Alexander are both considered versatile enough to play inside linebacker and cornerback, respectively. However, transitions to those positions at the professional level are not necessarily guaranteed.

The Lions made a total of four trades in round two, the most by any team on Saturday. They have picks No. 105 (round four), 139 and 158 (round five), and No. 255 (round seven -- final pick of the NFL draft) remaining.

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