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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will Prince Amukamara Fall to the Detroit Lions at No. 13?

2011 NFL Mock Draft Has Two of Five Experts Saying Lions will Select CB Prince Amukamara

Despite a solid career at USC, Trojans offensive tackle Tyron Smith drew concerns entering the combine of whether he could stand his ground against the stronger rushers in the NFL. He actually exhibited struggles against power rushers in college. But after showing up at the combine listed at 307 pounds, Smith effectively thwarted those who doubted his ability to be a rock in the NFL.

Kiper: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

They need to do everything possible to keep Matthew Stafford upright in 2011, a year anyone can see is absolutely crucial to his development. Smith has added necessary bulk without losing much in the way of athleticism and offers a potential long-term solution at left tackle. An underrated run-blocker, he can also help pave the way for more from Jahvid Best.

McShay: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

This is a dream scenario that allows the Lions to fill their biggest need with a top-10 prospect. Amukamara isn't quite as big as Peterson and is just a notch below in terms of speed and fluidity, but Amukamara has good size and top-end speed and is the most instinctive corner in this class. He's a plug-and-play prospect who would offer an instant upgrade.

Rang: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

The Lions would be fortunate to see Amukamara, a legitimate top 10 prospect, still on the board at this point. Having hit the lottery with a Cornhusker last year in All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Detroit wouldn't waste any time turning in their card and erasing their need for an infusion of size, speed and physicality at cornerback.

Banks: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

The Lions would jump all over either Amukamara or Tyron Smith if they made it to No. 13, but it won't be difficult to turn in the card for Castonzo, the draft's No. 2-rated offensive tackle. Detroit doesn't need to hit grand slams on draft weekend, just solid doubles that keep the improvement coming.

Kirwan: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

In my last mock it was OT Nate Solder in this spot, but it was Castonzo who drew the praise from two offensive line coaches I've recently spoken with. His versatility makes him a solid fit for Detroit, especially after Jeff Backus played well last year.

My take: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

I was one of those doubters of Smith's when I saw him get pushed around on occasion in college. But his athleticism has never been in question and he bulked up and kept his athleticism, my opinion of Smith has taken an 180-degree turn. He has the most potential out of any offensive lineman in the draft given his combination of quickness and power, and his technique ain't bad, either.

If Amukamara makes it this far, the Lions would have to take him, given he could be a Pro Bowl corner in the NFL. But for the same reasons as McShay and Rang note he's a spectacular prospect, I don't see him dropping this far.

So the next step is providing protection for a young quarterback in Matthew Stafford, as Kiper notes. The Lions need to start giving Stafford some time in the pocket if they're ever going to get a clear picture of his prospects of being their leader.

For more on the 2011 NFL Draft, check out Bleacher Report's Draft Hub.