Detroit Lions 2013 Mock Draft: Final 7-Round Predictions for Detroit
The time has almost come to stop speculating and start analyzing, so it's time for one last Detroit Lions mock draft.
And don't act like you're "mocked out." It's Christmas Eve and you're waiting on that BB gun with unbridled anticipation. Admit it.
Plus, this is the last moment that anything is possible. So enjoy lobbying for your guy one more time, whether it's Dee Milliner or Eric Fisher.
Please understand that I didn’t take trades into account, but Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew isn’t scared of a draft-day deal.
Now, click through to see who I think will be the newest Lions come Sunday.
Follow me live to analysis of the entire draft!
Round 1, Pick 5 Overall: DE Ezekiel Ansah
The Detroit Lions are a defensive line-orientated team. It's their entire defensive philosophy.
Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz aren't going to alter their strategy because of a perceived hot seat (not yet), so Ezekiel Ansah is a strong possibility here.
The secondary, if it stays relatively healthy, will be improved with Glover Quin joining Chris Houston and Louis Delmas. There is still a need for a cornerback, but it's not nearly as big of a concern as a pass-rusher.
Besides, the Lions won't be able to resist Ansah's potential. His speed and quickness will wreak havoc in the Wide 9 next to a focused Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. Plus, Ansah has a higher ceiling than Milliner, so the pick fits the best player available paradigm.
If Eric Fisher slides down, he's the pick, but I don't see that happening. Lastly, Lane Johnson is too much of a reach at No. 5, although the Lions would welcome him if they trade and drop down.
Round 2, Pick 36 Overall: WR DeAndre Hopkins
I flirted with the possibility of the Lions grabbing another pass-rusher here. It wouldn't be all that surprising and would fit the team's personality.
But Detroit needs to turn its attention to finding a sorely needed deep threat on offense. There are plenty of options available in this year's class, so passing on a DeAndre Hopkins to later take a Marquise Goodwin wouldn't be a terrible decision.
However, the thought of putting Hopkins opposite Calvin Johnson with the deep-ball loving Matthew Stafford throwing them the ball is going to be too much for the Lions' brass to resist. They'll bite on his ability to track the deep ball, which will force opponents to draw some attention away from Johnson.
If Hopkins isn't available, the Lions may target a corner like Jordan Poyer or Jamar Taylor or opt for the aforementioned pass-rusher.
Round 3, Pick 65: OG Larry Warford
I'm not a believer in the Honey Badger to Detroit movement. The prophesy is all hype. Tyrann Mathieu runs the risk of getting beat deep (remember Alphonso Smith?) or causing problems off the field or in the locker room (Aaron Berry).
The gap between the two top guards (Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper) isn't as wide as some would have you believe. Especially when you're including a man as large as Larry Warford.
Don't let his girth mislead you, he's an even chubbier Jerome Bettis. Or, one could say that Warford is deceptively quick for someone weighing 332 pounds. But I liked the way I said it the first time better.
He will take over the spot vacated by Stephen Peterman, or at least push Bill Nagy for the starting job while providing depth to the interior of the offensive line.
Round 4, Pick 132: OT Jordan Mills
Luck will be a factor if the Lions are able to grab Jordan Mills this late in the draft.
But if there is a run on mediocre teams, it can happen.
Mills will give the Lions a pick-and-plug right tackle who will hold his own so they can shift Riley Reiff to the job for which he was drafted. Reiff may be a better fit at right tackle or guard, but moving him over gives the Lions the best offensive line their roster can produce.
Round 5, Pick 137: DE David Bass
If you don't know about David Bass yet, it's understandable. He played at Division II Missouri Western State.
But this kid is a potential monster.
He's incredibly quick and would give the Lions a situational pass-rusher and backup defensive lineman that can beat tackles with his incredible quickness (4.33 20-yard shuttle at the combine).
He's a natural finisher who sets the edge well against the run and chases down mobile quarterbacks. Other pundits have Bass lasting until the sixth round, but his upside is intriguing enough for this spot.
Round 6, Pick 171: TE Dion Sims
I can't believe I'm quoting the phrase, "a replacement for Will Heller," but Dean Holden was spot on. Detroit needs to add someone behind Tony Scheffler and the maddeningly inconsistent Brandon Pettigrew.
Dion Sims is a solid value for a sixth-round pick. He's big (6'5", 262 pounds) and enjoys the physical aspect of the game, a trait that Schwartz and Mayhew will covet.
Sims is also a good enough receiver to force defenses to cover him, opening even more passing lanes for Stafford and his burgeoning cache of weapons.
Round 7, Pick 211: OLB Jelani Jenkins
Jelani Jenkins will fight with David Bass to be the next rookie defender to get on the field.
The Lions desperately need someone who can push Ashlee Palmer for a starting spot as well as provide some depth.
Jenkins can be that player since he both can handle the run and drop back in coverage.
If the Lions can get a possible three-down linebacker in the final round, then this draft will most likely be considered a success.
Round 7, Pick 245: WR Conner Vernon
If you've ever read anything I've written about the draft, you should have seen this coming. I can't stop talking about Conner Vernon and his dependable hands.
Vernon could prove to be a reliable backup receiver so long as he also can contribute on special teams.
This late in the draft, there are any number of players the Lions could select. However, picking the ACC's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards—even if he doesn't have the explosiveness the Lions usually covet—seems like a solid option.