2012 NFL Mock Draft: Evaluating DraftTek's Latest 7-Round Mock for the Lions
DraftTek has released their latest mock draft, and every Detroit Lions draft pick has changed from their previous mock.
This is not uncommon as free agency can dictate needs and openings across a team's depth chart.
For the Lions, even as an aging player like Jeff Backus is re-signed, that need is not erased, but rather it becomes even more necessary to address the position through the draft.
So how does DraftTek's latest mock actually look?
Do the picks make more sense than their previous effort or are they mainly head-scratchers?
Let's analyze each of the selections that DraftTek has decided on for the Lions in their latest mock draft.
For a look at DraftTek's previous Lions mock click here.
Round 1: Pick 23, Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Eric Wright is off to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving an already depleted Lions backfield further deprived of talent.
Detroit has signed Jacob Lacey from the Indianapolis Colts, but he is more of a depth piece than anything else.
Jenkins, by contrast, has the pure talent and skill to start opposite Chris Houston and create a formidable duo.
The issue with the former Florida Gator is his repeated run-ins with the law and off-the-field mentality.
From a purely football standpoint this pick makes a lot of sense, but if Jenkins continues his misconduct, then this choice could have "bust" written all over it.
For now, DraftTek thinks Detroit will find Jenkins a viable option at pick 23.
Round 2: Pick 54, Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California
Jeff Backus has recently been re-signed by Detroit, but his days are clearly numbered.
The longtime Lions starter at left tackle is aging quickly and to expect anything more than a possible two more years out of Backus would be foolish.
Mitchell Schwartz (no relation to head coach Jim Schwartz) is a talented 6'5", 318-pound offensive tackle out of the University of California.
He is a player that can step onto the Lions roster and immediately compete for the starting right tackle position.
Schwartz played right tackle at Cal and it is unknown if he can develop into a left tackle at the next level.
Clearly DraftTek believes he is the type of guy that can start out on the right side of the offensive line and possibly develop into Backus' replacement.
Round 3: Pick 86, Trumaine Johnson, CB/FS, Montana
The key word for the Lions defensive backfield is "depth."
That is exactly what Trumaine Johnson out of the University of Montana would bring to the table.
He played cornerback in college but has the talent to move all around the secondary.
Johnson ran a respectable 4.61 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, but he may struggle keeping up with faster NFL receivers.
His zone coverage and run support are highlights of his game, and if Johnson develops better man coverage skills, he could be a steal in the third round.
And the fact that he has the ability to return kickoffs is always an added bonus.
Round 4: Pick 117, Marcel Jones, OT, Nebraska
DraftTek's second offensive lineman in their Detroit Lions mock draft is Marcel Jones out of the University of Nebraska.
He is a mammoth 6'6" 320-pound tackle that helped lead the charge for Nebraska's 13th-ranked rushing offense in 2011.
Jones has had issues with nagging back and ankle injuries throughout his career which could hurt his stock.
Luckily, he is skilled at both run- and pass-blocking and has surprisingly good footwork for a player of his size.
Jones, like Schwartz, will likely need to develop at right tackle before attempting a transition to the left side of an NFL offensive line.
But with the age and injury history of a player like Jeff Backus, it makes sense that DraftTek would see the Lions drafting multiple tackles.
Round 5: Pick 150, Nigel Bradham, OLB, Florida State
Nigel Bradham is a player with a ton of talent and potential at the linebacker position.
At 6'2", 240 pounds, he is not the prototypical size for a linebacker, but he makes up for it with a ferocious playing style and tremendous lateral quickness.
Detroit could use more names on the depth chart at linebacker, and a versatile weapon like Bradham would be a welcome addition.
The Florida State Seminoles leading tackler last season will attempt to make any play, and while he is not great at pass-rushing or picking off passes, he brings plenty to the table if still on the board at pick 150.
Round 7: Pick 202, Jamie Blatnick, DE, Oklahoma State
Seventh-round picks are rarely expected to produce much at the next level or fill an important need on a team's roster.
Rather the pick is designated for a player that seems to have value regardless of what position he may play.
Enter Jamie Blatnick.
This Oklahoma State defensive end would not appear to have the skill set to be an everydown starter at the next level.
He has the kind of motor and work ethic to possibly work his way into a rotation and be a great presence on special teams.
Blatnick is 6'3", 263 pounds and has been able to find opposing quarterbacks during his collegiate career.
Perhaps he will develop into something special, but the likelihood is that he will become a small role player in the NFL.