Lions draft WR Broyles in 2nd, WR Broyles in 3rd
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions addressed a desperate need after adding some depth at a position of strength.
Detroit drafted Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight "Bill" Bentley in the third round of the NFL draft, taking a player who will get a shot to start right away. The move followed its selection of Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round Friday night.
"Well, we drafted a corner," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said with a smile.
Detroit is stacked at receiver with All-Pro Calvin Johnson, standout veteran Nate Burleson and 2011 second-round pick Titus Young, but that didn't stop the team from giving Matthew Stafford another option when he throws.
The Lions simply determined that Broyles, the NCAA career receptions leader, was too talented to pass up with the 54th pick overall even though he's coming off major knee surgery.
"I'm glad the Detroit Lions felt I was a guy that was capable of coming back from an injury," Broyles said.
Broyles, who is from Norman, Okla., had 349 career receptions for 4,586 yards, 45 touchdowns and 1,194 yards on punt returns for the Sooners. His sensational career was cut short when he tore a ligament in his left knee in November shortly after breaking the NCAA receptions record.
"We have the luxury of being able to rehab this guy very carefully and let him get healthy," Mayhew said. "If the guy was healthy now, he would've been gone."
Less than five months after surgery, Broyles ran the 40-yard dash and a handful of routes for pro scouts. In about 30 minutes, the 5-foot-11, 187-pound receiver showed he could accelerate, make quick stutter-step stops and come out of his breaks to catch passes.
"I showed a little bit during pro days that I'm on pace to be ready for training camp," he said.
The 5-foot-11, 173-pound Bentley, who has been known as Bill since middle school in Pahokee, Fla., had three interceptions last season and seven in his career. He will get a chance to compete with Aaron Berry to start opposite veteran cornerback Chris Houston.
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