With one week left to go before the 2010 NFL Draft, I think it's a good time for my second attempt at a Detroit Lions mock draft.
This is a great opportunity for the Lions to continue to grow and improve. Free agency might have brought the Lions some immediate legitimacy, but the only way this team will win long-term is by making good draft decisions.
Hope you enjoy!
This pick has to be one of the two DTs. This team doesn't have two legitimate starters despite what some would have you believe.
Pairing one of the two with Corey Williams creates a good starting duo, and bringing Sammie Lee Hill off the bench gives the team some depth as well.
This team gets decent pressure off the edge, but last season there was absolutely NO push up the middle. I think Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz realize this, and that's why Corey Williams was acquired.
However, adding Ndamukong Suh/Gerald McCoy to the mix would do wonders for this defense.
I think this pick will ultimately be Suh. It's hard to argue with his production. If you haven't watched the "Sports Science" video from ESPN on Suh, do so immediately.
I said it in my first mock, and I'll say it again here: The new draft schedule makes the top of the second round a hot spot for trades.
There has been talk that there's round one talent all the way back into the mid second round. I think especially with some of the positions that are being targeted with this pick (RB, CB, S), the Lions can afford to move back.
My prediction is that Denver, after acquiring the No. 43 overall pick, trades up with the Lions to get WR Golden Tate. He fits that offense perfectly as a guy who is quick off the ball and can run after the catch.
So the Lions acquire No. 43 overall, No. 80 overall, and No. 183 overall. That's a swap of second rounders as well as the Broncos' third and sixth rounders.
I know some of you don't like predicting trades, but I can't stress enough how likely this is.
Unless Everson Griffen or someone else too good to pass up is there, I think the pick will get traded.
I think this pick will be Nate Allen, the safety out of South Florida, for a couple of reasons.
1) Patrick Robinson may be there, but likely the CBs worth taking here will be gone. Picking up an extra third rounder gives the Lions the flexibility to draft Allen and pick one up later.
2) I think either Ryan Mathews or Jahvid Best will fall to round two. However, if the Lions move back, they will be picking after the San Diego Chargers and thus likely will miss out on whichever one is still there.
3) The Lions' other safety position next to Louis Delmas is wide open. I don't think Ko Simpson is the answer, nor is the often injured Daniel Bullocks. Bringing in Allen makes the competition for that spot all the more interesting and would likely give the Lions a really nice tandem of safeties.
I think if the Lions truly are going to follow their draft strategy of best player available, this pick has to be Dexter McCluster if he is still there.
Look, Aaron Brown could end up working out, but when you're forgetting which way to go on a screen pass, that tells me there is a real lack of understanding. That's a mistake a fifth grader makes, not an NFL player.
The Lions could do so much with McCluster. He can help run the ball, he can play in the slot, he can return kickoffs and punts...he's an all-around weapon and a threat to score every time he touches the ball, something this offense desperately needs.
A.J. Jefferson is a guy with real long arms and who is physical when in press coverage...sounds pretty much exactly like what Schwartz is looking for.
Mike Mayock raved about this guy during Combine workouts, and while he may need some work, he's a pick that could pay off two to three years from now.
Greg Hardy was considered a first round talent last year. After a bad senior season and issues with his weight, he's dropped quite a bit. However, taking a flier on a guy who has a lot of ability and can get to the QB doesn't bother me here.
Having a guy like KVB as a teammate may just bring this kid around.
The Lions recently brought in John Conner for a visit. This makes me think they're not particularly pleased with the way that Jerome Felton played last year.
He won't get many carries, but he'd offer the team a lot as a blocking fullback.
Jason Hanson has been arguably the best Lions player in recent history, but he's getting up there in age.
Leigh Tiffin was a really good kicker for Alabama and is a guy who the Lions could keep on the practice squad for a year or two until Hanson is ready to call it quits.
Mlive.com's Tom Kowalski recently listed Crezdon Butler as a guy who could be a steal in the seventh round.
I tend to agree with him on that.
Ah, Mr. Irrelevant.
Unfortunately, my pick doesn't have a picture to go with this caption.
However, upon watching the running backs at the combine, I was impressed by a guy named Shawnbrey McNeal out of SMU. He is built a little bit like a fire hydrant at 5'9" and 190 pounds. Fairly good speed, good vision, sets up his blocks, and has great lateral mobility.
McNeal is the only player to ever run for over 1,000 yards in a June Jones pass-happy offense.