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NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock believes it would be difficult for the Lions to pass up on running backs Melvin Gordon or Todd Gurley if they're available when they pick in the first round of the NFL Draft next week.

Mayock spoke on an NFL Network conference call Thursday.

"When you're sitting there at 23, and what I think they really need is either D-line or O-line, and you could throw a corner in there also, at 23, you've got to let the board come to you a little bit and see what's available," Mayock said.

"Where do you have the highest-rated defensive tackle at that point? Is it Malcom Brown? Is it Eddie Goldman? Who's still available at 23 when it's your turn, versus who are the top offensive tackles on your board? They need some bodies up front on offense, and I think you got to play the board. Who's available at that particular point, and how do you evaluate that guy?"

Gordon played at Wisconsin and Gurley played at Georgia. Mayock called both "difference-makers." Gurley is coming of a knee-ligament tear (ACL). Mayock said Gordon reminds him of the Chiefs' Jamaal Charles.

"Melvin Gordon is my No. 1 back, not just because of (Gurley's) ACL, but I believe in Melvin Gordon," Mayock said. "Todd Gurley is a home-run hitter. He's a difference-maker. And that's why there's so much intrigue."

Mayock said the Lions have to decide what kind of offense they want to be.

"They throw the ball a lot, are they going to change their balance to accommodate (Gordon or Gurley)?" he said. "If one of those guys is there, you have to decide up front. I love those two tailbacks. To be honest with you, they're difference-makers. One of those guys is really hard for me to pass up."

achengelis@detroitnews.com

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