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Inside the Numbers: Last Five Fifth Overall Picks Produce a Wide Variety of Results

January 7th, 2013 at 9:24 AM
By Max DeMara

This week, the order for near the top of this year's 2013 NFL Draft was set, and the Detroit Lions are picking fifth overall. Being this is the case, we figured we'd have some fun with the number five today, and look at the last five fifth overall picks and their impact on the game.

Located right in between one and ten, the number five has been quite an anomaly over it's time in the draft. More than anything, the pick has had some star power and personality, seeing that Deion Sanders, Jim McMahon, Junior Seau and LaDainian Tomlinson and Sean Taylor get drafted there over the years. There's also been a fair share of busts (Cedric Jones and Curtis Enis are who, again?) The Lions themselves snagged Bryant Westbrook at the spot in 1996, who was a solid professional for a while before fizzling out.

Here's what we're dealing with as it regards the last five seasons:

2008: Glenn Dorsey, Kansas City Chiefs
2009: Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
2010: Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs 
2011: Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
2012: Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars

Oh boy. That's not exactly a positive who's who of the NFL lately, considering Dorsey has struggled to stick in the pros, Sanchez has his issues and Berry has been inconsistent. Blackmon came on at times in 2012 and might turn out decent, leaving Peterson as the best this position has seen recently. The Lions, for their part, loved Peterson but couldn't execute a trade up in time.

So, for Detroit, this year's mantra at number five should be draft for need first, which is obviously defense. Be it Dee Milliner, Barkevious Mingo, Manti Te'o or Jarvis Jones, some type of impact player will likely be available and probably on the board. Often times, teams that have failed most at the position have tried too hard to jam a square peg into a round hole. To succeed at five, the Lions need patience and a plan most of all.

As going inside the number five as it relates to the NFL Draft shows, there's stars and solid professionals to be found, depending on the year and the team.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on his personal Twitter account @SportsGuyTheMax or on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, NFL

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