Detroit Lions: Mock Draft Take Two
This NFL off-season has certainly been eventful.
It is truly remarkable to me that deep into the off-season, far away from even games that aren't meaningful, the NFL still reigns supreme amongst sports fans.
April is perhaps the best month in all of sports in my mind. It represents the beginning of the baseball season, the final game of the NCAA basketball season, and the end of the NBA season.
But of course, arguably the most important milestone of the month is the NFL draft.
Truly, no professional draft even comes close to the attention paid to professional football's annual selection of the top collegiate prospects from across this land of ours.
Recently, I submitted a mock draft. I liked my original mock draft, but that was contingent upon the way I thought other teams might pick.
But as free agency continues to spin through its cycle, things have changed.
Here is my updated mock draft for the Lions.
Round 1: Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia
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Originally I had Janoris Jenkins going here to Detroit, but a few things have come to mind.
First, the Lions defensive coordinator, Gunther Cunningham, is not in the habit of starting rookie cornerbacks.
Second, Jenkins is not a physical cornerback, something that is surely needed for Detroit's defense.
Three, Jenkins has too many red flags surrounding him, and the Lions need a cornerstone player at this spot.
If the Lions want a cornerback, they probably are better off pursuing one in the later rounds or through trades.
Dre Kirkpatrick likely will be off the board, as will Stephen Gilmore.
Besides, neither is a sure thing prospect.
The other great need for the Lions is the offensive line, and any of the five positions will do.
Glenn is an ideal pick for many reasons, namely his versatility.
He has started numerous games at both guard and tackle, and could provide a building block for the future at either spot.
Ideally he would be Backus' replacement at left tackle. However, if that doesn't work, he can always become Stephen Peterman's replacement at guard.
This is pretty much a can't-miss pick, and that is exactly what the Lions need in this draft.
Round 2: Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame
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Here is perhaps the most important pick in the draft for Detroit.
While running backs are coming off the board at a high rate in the second round, the Lions are hopeful that Mikel Leshoure will bounce back after an injury.
Cornerback is an obvious need for the Lions, but I'm not sold on any of the prospects at this spot. Josh Robinson is small, Janoris Jenkins might fall here but is too risky, and Trumaine Johnson is unproven.
I originally had Ben Jones going here, but there is a chance Jones could fall to the third round, and there might be more talent available here.
Offensive guard would be nice here, but there are too many question marks amongst those that could still be on the board. Kevin Zeitler might be available, but he isn't great in pass protection. Amini Silatolu could be had here, but he has durability questions and lacks ideal size.
Tackle also could be grabbed here, but Zebrie Sanders is more of a zone blocker, and Bobby Massie is not an elite blocker at either the run or the pass.
So what position of need still has value here?
Safety is quickly becoming one of the more important positions in the NFL. You need an athletic, strong, and quick safety in today's NFL, due in large part to the emergence of the tight end.
Smith could potentially go before here, but I am hopeful that Detroit will get lucky.
Smith has good size, is a solid cover man, and most importantly, he is aggressive against the run.
He would pair perfectly with Louis Delmas, and allow Amari Spievey to help with depth.
Round 3: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
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Again, I really want a corner here, but I am not sold on Casey Hayward or Dwight Bentley.
Tackle and center could be addressed here, and if Ben Jones is still here, the Lions should pull the trigger.
But I think Jones will be off the board, and the remaining tackles are underwhelming.
That's why I think that Detroit should go with either a running back or linebacker depth here.
Chris Polk could be good, but another running back with durability questions is not ideal. Isaiah Pead is shifty, but he had some knee issues in college.
That's why I still have the Lions taking LaMichael James here.
He is quick, tough, and plays quicker than his 40 time.
Sure, there are questions about whether he can be durable at the next level, but I really like the fact that he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Round 4: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
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I was tempted to put David Molk here, but I am not certain that he would be that much of an upgrade over Dominic.
Obviously if a stud lineman falls here, take a shot. In my original mock, I had Vontaze Burfict here, but I don't know if he will fall here. I still think someone is going to take a shot at him earlier.
The biggest need still not addressed for Detroit is cornerback, and Minnifield is a fine one.
He doesn't have elite speed, but he is smart, plays with spirit and likes to hit.
At the very least, he will be a great practice player, and in the later rounds, that is about all that you can hope for.
Round 5: Levy Adcock, T, Oklahoma State
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I like Luke Nix here, but he is more of a zone blocker.
What I like about Adcock is his spirit. I want an offensive lineman who is always looking to hit someone, and that is Adcock.
I also like the fact that he has experience at both guard and tackle, and we need more depth at both.
Round 7 (First Pick): Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
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Frank Alexander missed the combine, and that certainly will hurt his draft stock.
That being said, he represents the perfect low-risk, high-reward pick in the seventh round.
He has excellent size, but he has question marks around his character and has not been overly consistent.
Round 7 (Second Pick): Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
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Okay, so Cliff Harris is a knucklehead. He has exhibited bad judgment off the field, and he will be lucky to be drafted.
That being said, he was the Ducks best defensive back two years ago, and he would certainly have been a top 10 cornerback had he not gotten into trouble.
Seventh-round picks are typically low-risk picks, and even if he is a high-risk character, a seventh-rounder isn't a gamble.