Detroit Lions: Looking at First-Round Draft Pick Projections from Every Expert
Picking the top-five selections is like shooting fish in a barrel, or catching bullfrogs on a golf course, if you’re familiar with my new guilty pleasure, Duck Dynasty.
However, trying to figure out how 20-plus general managers will use their 10 minutes in the first round becomes much more challenging.
This becomes more apparent as mock drafts continue to be issued with no consistent pattern at the back end of the first round.
As for the Lions, they appear willing to wait and see who falls in their lap at 23, but which player that will be is debatable.
Following are the prognostications for the Lions' first-round selection by 25 experts, see whom you agree with. If none, let us know whom you think the pick will be!
Selection: Josh Robinson, Cornerback, Central Florida
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
Banks stands on an island with this pick; he is the first to have Josh Robinson from Central Florida sneaking into the first round.
This pick makes sense for Banks as he had the Lions taking Janoris Jenkins prior to the marijuana marathon suffered by the Detroit franchise last week.
Robinson tore up the combine with the fastest 40-yard dash time of 4.33 and displays athleticism superior to Jenkins.
He’s a strong tackler who plays well in zone, but with Gunther Cunningham preferring a man-to-man scheme, this pick seems to not only be a reach at 23, but also not the best fit for the system.
Coming from Banks, who is well connected throughout team offices, the eye-opening selection should not be marginalized and he has targeted the Lions in both of his last two drafts taking a corner.
Selection: Dre Kirkpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama
Sigmund Bloom, Bleacher Report
The obvious need selection with the loss of Eric Wright in this draft is cornerback, and Dre Kirkpatrick would fill that void.
Mike Mayock has him ranked as the third-best corner in the draft and the Lions have already had Kirkpatrick in for an official visit on March 20; he appears ready to play in the Motor City.
In fairness to Sigmund Bloom, he has Kirkpatrick penciled in as a best-case scenario for Detroit, not his actual selection, but we’ll go with that for the sake of argument now.
Kirkpatrick has shutdown ability, but because of his thin frame many question his ability to stay physical in man coverage and some even project him moving to the safety position.
Selection: Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Charles Davis, NFL.com
Clark Judge, CBSSports.com
Analysts Consensus, Drafttek.com
One of two players to receive four expert votes, Mike Adams could be the long-term answer at left tackle.
The Lions talked with Adams at the Senior Bowl and had him in for an official visit March 15, so there is some definite interest.
He’s a big athletic tackle with ideal measurables for the position, but his multiple suspensions for team violations, which is no small feat for a Buckeye, along with a history of injuries could make him no more than an overpriced Jason Fox.
Selection: Cordy Glenn, Offensive Tackle, Georgia
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
Dean Holden, Bleacher Report
Nick Kostora, Bleacher Report
The big fella who appears destined to be the next spokesman for SUBWAY keeps climbing up the draft boards and is the second player to garner four expert votes.
Cordy Glenn is a versatile offensive lineman who played tackle in college but has the size and versatility to play both tackle and guard positions on Sundays.
There were concerns about how all 345 of his pounds would fare at the combine, but he put that to bed with an excellent weekend in Indy.
If the Lions could get him at 23, it would be a terrific value to grab a player who could play anywhere on the line that although as a group is viewed as middle of the road, it's one of the oldest lines in the league and is in desperate need of some young, healthy blood.
I realize Dean Holden’s most recent mock has the Lions selecting Zach Brown, but my guess after reading some of his work is that the behemoth Bulldog would be his selection.
Selection: Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN
Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly
James Van Etten, Bleacher Report
Jonathan Martin has had his stock take a hit in recent weeks, which is just fine with me. Martin started 2012 as second only to Matt Kalil but now finds himself ranked fourth behind Riley Reiff and Mike Adams in Mayock’s top five.
His pro day did nothing to shoot him back up the draft boards, but what he did on the field protecting Andrew Luck should carry more weight.
Martin has all the tools to be a 10-year starter in the league. He’s athletic, smart, tough and technically sound. The knock on him is he doesn’t possess the elite strength.
With Jeff Backus back in the fold for the next two years, adding some muscle mass to a 22-year-old frame is not a concern; having nobody to back up Backus without an extended stay on the injured reserve, though, is.
Martin has missed only two games in his collegiate career and has no lingering injuries. The blind side of Matthew Stafford should be priority No. 1 for the Lions, and having Martin on the roster would let everyone in Allen Park sleep much easier at night knowing their franchise quarterback just received a healthy insurance policy.
Selection: Whitney Mercilus, Defensive End, Illinois
Todd McShay, ESPN
McShay is riding solo with the selection of Whitney Mercilus.
The one-year starter from Illinois left after a junior campaign that led the nation with 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles. He is listed as a linebacker, but is really a rush, 4-3 defensive end and ideal for the Lions’ pass-rushing philosophy.
With the proverbial “great motor” and the ability to chase the play down the line, Mercilus will be a Thursday night selection, and given that Cliff Avril and the team are still far apart in negotiating a long-term deal along with Kyle Vanden Bosch getting closer to retirement, replenishing the defensive end position is absolutely plausible in the first round.
Selection: Nick Perry, Defensive End, Southern California
Chad Reuter, NFL.com
Brian Baldinger, NFL.com
Another defensive end that is coming out as a junior, Nick Perry has Detroit ties and a collegiate career that makes more sense for the Lions.
Perry performed better than Mercilus across the board at the combine and has three years of productivity at Southern California to beef up his resume; he’s not a one-year wonder.
He’s a native of Detroit, played at King High School and was set to sign with Michigan until Lloyd Carr left the program. Coming home and being part of the turnaround would be a Disney-worthy script.
Selection: Mark Barron, Strong Safety, Alabama
Pat Kirwan, CBSSports.com
Peter Schrager, FOXSports.com
Andrew Garda, Bleacher Report
Mark Barron is viewed as the best safety in the draft and this pick would not be unprecedented for the current Lions regime.
Remember, the Lions dumped Roy Williams into Jerry Jones' lap and selected Brandon Pettigrew with the 20th overall selection in the 2009 draft.
At the time, drafting a tight end didn’t seem to fill the need for the offensive lineman many perceived was the glaring weakness for Detroit, but the excellent blocking skills Pettigrew showed in college was presented as the reason he could help the offensive line.
Safety help could, in the same fashion, assist the defensive weakness of secondary. The cornerback is the obvious concern, but with the dominant pass-catching tight ends in the NFC, getting some elite help at the safety position makes sense.
Selection: Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback, South Carolina
Charlie Casserly, NFL.com
Albert Breer, NFL.com
With 40 straight starts for the Gamecocks, Stephon Gilmore is as dependable as they come.
Beyond his career at South Carolina, Gilmore impressed at the combine as well. With a 40 time of 4.40 and a shuttle time of 3.94, second amongst corners, Gilmore showed he’s not only big, he’s fast and agile.
He’s a vocal leader, knowing where all his teammates need to be, effectively playing the role of on-field coach and has consistently received praise from both players and coaches for his work ethic and attitude.
A Jim Schwartz kind of player—a gym rat who puts in time in the film room and knows both his opponents and defensive scheme inside and out—the tape shows a full effort player who brings a ferocious attitude on every play.
Gilmore played mostly in off-coverage, which suits the Lions' systems, and had 46 tackles to go along with a team-high four interceptions last year. He could be the best fit at cornerback in the draft for Detroit.
Selection: Janoris Jenkins, Cornerback, North Alabama
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com
Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com
With what happened last week with Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley, drafting Jenoris Jenkins in the first round would be a public relations nightmare for the Lions.
There is very little possibility that Detroit would risk bringing in a player with previous substance abuse issues similar to the ones it's currently dealing with.
Jenkins has first-round talent, but there are several other options with much lower risk/reward ratios than a player kicked out of an SEC program who spent too much time courting Mary Jane.
If given the option, I believe all three of these experts would choose someone other than Jenkins today.
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