Many of the picks in this draft have Rod Marinelli's name written all over them. While they aren't sexy or popular, they are guys that show up on "tape" and have a solid reputation. Cliff Avril (or Jordon Dizon, take your pick) embodies this process.
Avril, who was even mentioned as a possible late first-round pick by some analysts, slid to the Lions in the third round (92nd overall). While some question his size as a defensive end, Avril can also play outside linebacker if necessary. In theory, he will replace the departed (and unproductive) Kalimba Edwards on third-down pass rush situations, although he'll have competition with players such as Ikaika-Alama Francis challenging for playing time.
What Marinelli has created by continuing to build the defensive line is competition (and along with this, comraderie) amongst his younger players, the same method he used to rally his Super Bowl winning defensive line in Tampa Bay.
Below is analysis from former league scout and Scout.com draft analyst Tom Marino ...
9. Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue
40: 4.63v Ht: 6027v Wt: 251v Rating: 1.335
A 3-4 outside backer prospect who overall was somewhat disappointing. Got stuck on blocks and wasn't particularly effective in his movement away from the ball. More of a "Sam backer" prospect and nickel rusher. Did show some short area pop when meeting blocks and the ball carrier. Has some natural leverage. Looks to have strong contributing back up potential within the league. Round 3 to 4 consideration.