Detroit Lions Full 7-Round Mock Draft

March 3rd, 2014

Will this man join his brother in Detroit? (Photo from Bleacher Report)

Jeff Risdon, DLD Editor

Since we haven’t done one in a while, it’s time once again for a full Detroit Lions mock draft. These represent picks I would make, not necessarily what I believe the Lions would do in the same situation, which is the opposite of my typical mock drafts.

This is still pre-free agency, which makes projections difficult. So I decided to set a few fairly realistic and perhaps even probable conditions here:

–Detroit signs S James Ihedigbo to fill the Louis Delmas role

–Brandon Pettigrew is not re-signed

–The Lions pull a mild surprise and sign WR James Jones

–Veteran corner Rashean Mathis re-signs for another one-year deal

That sets the stage for the draft…

First round, 10th overall

Before we get to the Lions pick, it’s important to lay out what players are available.

These players will all be gone:

Teddy Bridgewater, Jadeveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins, Greg Robinson, Khalil Mack, Jake Matthews, Blake Bortles, and Johnny Manziel.

You will note that’s only eight names. That’s what helps make this so exciting. And frustratingly speculative.

The ninth player that will be gone figures to be one of three prospects: Mike Evans, Eric Ebron, or Anthony Barr. Derek Carr is a possibility, but a pretty remote one. It’s not out of the question Taylor Lewan elevated his name into that realm with his tremendous Combine, either.

Because I cannot foresee which of those guys will be gone, they are all available for Detroit.

My choice here comes down to three choices. Each is my top-rated player this respective position.

  • Wide receiver Marqise Lee
  • Tight end Eric Ebron
  • Outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy

The signing of Jones and the freakish depth at wide receiver makes me turn away from Lee, though I do think he would be great in Detroit. He’s a much better fit for the Lions than Mike Evans, whom I believe would be the actual Lions choice in this given situation.

Van Noy would be a perfect fit for the Lions defense, able to play in the base 4-3 at strongside backer. He would bring the potential as a blitzer, something neither DeAndre Levy nor Stephen Tulloch do well. He could stay on the field in nickel situations and replace Tulloch in those obvious passing spots, and he’s proven he can play well off former BYU teammate and buddy Ezekiel Ansah.

Ebron would fill the Jimmy Graham role that new Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi had in New Orleans. He’s a monumental upgrade to the departed Pettigrew as a receiver, and he would mitigate the need to rush a wideout into action. Ebron’s presence would dramatically improve the Lions passing game and really open things up for Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, too.

The pick: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Second round, 45th overall

With tight end now resolved and the need for alternate pass catching options for Matthew Stafford mitigated, the Lions can now turn to best player available.

The only positions that are ruled out here are quarterback, tight end and running back.

My hope here is that the run on second-tier quarterbacks has already happened, which would drop more players into the availability pool.

Three of the players I’m really hoping are available are Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward, Oregon State wideout Brandin Cooks, and Nevada offensive tackle Joel Bitonio.

Ward is the most likely of those to be gone, perhaps as early as the top 25.

There’s an outside chance Van Noy will still be available, but I doubt it. He would be the pick if he’s still on the board, and I strongly believe that would be the case in the actual draft too.

Even with Cooks and Bitonio still on the board, and I really like and would be content with either, the choice here is a bit of a curveball. It flies against what frequent readers and those who know me would guess.

I’m taking someone with ties to this Lions team already. He’s a bit of an injury risk, and he might not make much of an immediate impact. It creates a crowd at his position. But his talent ceiling and long-term impact ability at a position of chronic need prevails upon me to select him.

The pick: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

A quick note about the aftermath: I’d see what Fuller can offer during the preseason, and if he’s good enough to play right away as the third outside corner, I’d get rid of Chris Houston at that point regardless of the dead money on his contract. Otherwise I keep Houston for 2014 and let Fuller come along at a slower pace, unless he can definitively bump Chris Greenwood and/or Bill Bentley right away.

Third round, 76th overall

If the draft plays out like I think it might, this is the real value range for wide receivers. The depth of talent at that spot should keep the demand from outpacing the supply, and that means players that in other years would be 2nd-round talents will be around in the third.

The additions of James Jones and Eric Ebron have shored up the options in the middle of the field and in intermediate routes. Now is the time to add the outside-the-hashes field stretcher.

How about adding the wideout who tied for the fastest 10-yard split t the Combine? He blazed a flat 4.40 in the 40, and added the top broad jump and third-best vertical leap. He’s big at 6’3” and a rocked up 220+ pounds but still has the speed and explosiveness at that size.

Sounds great, right? So why he is still on the board in the middle of the third? His hands can be inconsistent, and really his whole game has some inconsistencies. He had vastly superior games against LSU and Missouri than Mike Evans did, but had little impact against Alabama or Mississippi State.

The pick: Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss

Fourth round, 107th overall

The choice here is a player that caught my eye during Shrine Game week. I had not seen much of his body of work before then, but he immediately grabbed my attention with his athleticism and ability to quickly implement adjustments.

He’s a defensive tackle, on the beefier side but surprisingly light on his feet. His “fat guy” spin move is truly devastating, and he can take it in either direction. He plays with good pad level and has decent eyes against the run.

As for how he fits Detroit, he fills in the rotation behind Suh and Fairley, providing more of a pass-rushing dimension than current 3rd tackle C.J. Mosley. There is enough upside here to move up and start in a year or two if Nick Fairley moves along in free agency. But he has immediate value as a rotational contributor and brings much-needed depth to the D-line, which has just three players.

The pick: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech

Fifth round, no pick

Thanks for nothing, Mike Thomas…

Sixth round

Last year I scoffed at the notion of drafting a specialist. Sam Martin’s success as a punter and kickoff specialist has changed my tune a little.

It’s time for the Lions to draft the rightful heir to Jason Hanson. Trying another veteran free agent is not worth it, as David Akers proved.

I’d be happy with either of two kickers here. Tulane’s Cairo Santos is small but has a proven leg with great accuracy. He’s also got some personality, which doesn’t hurt; the Lions are in need of more characters after losing two of their biggest ones in Delmas and Burleson.

The other acceptable choice is Zach Hocker from Arkansas. He made quite an impression when, during Shrine Game practices, the coaches had to tell him to dial it back so they could actually run return drills. He nailed a 60-yarder in practice there, and made a 55-yarder in another practice on a damp field that would have been good from 65.

The dome experience gets the tiebreaker.

The pick: Cairo Santos, K, Tulane

Seventh round

This pick is completely self-indulgent, but it does make some sense for Detroit.

It’s not secret I’m not a fan of Kellen Moore, who will be the de facto #2 quarterback when Shaun Hill leaves via free agency. Aside from just not thinking he’s very good, he’s also not at all like Stafford. That means the backup cannot run the same offense as the starter, and that’s an unnecessary burden on the coaching staff should the unthinkable arise.

I want a backup with a big arm and confidence in said arm. He needs to have the ability to anticipate throws and deliver strikes outside the hashes. Added mobility would be nice, but this particular prospect makes Stafford seem speedy. There’s a reason why he’s a 7th rounder, after all…

The pick: Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh

The Lions should get a compensatory pick in either the fourth or fifth round, based on last year’s free agency. That pick would be used on an interior offensive lineman like Florida State’s Bryan Stork or Notre Dame’s Chris Watt.



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10 Responses to “Detroit Lions Full 7-Round Mock Draft”

  1. UMABEAST says:

    MY 2014 Lions Final Mock

    1.Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
    2.Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
    3.Keith McGill CB Utah
    4.Terrence Brooks FS Florida State
    4.(Comp)Gabe Ikard C Oklahoma

    • adminLions says:

      I love Brooks in the 4th. He’d be a great pick there. He’ll have a 60-75 overall range grade here.

      Not a McGill fan though, he’s 25 and really struggles with COD. Watch him try to cover Marqise Lee or Brandin Cooks, it’s ugly.

  2. E W says:

    This looks like a pretty good draft haul.

    Question: If Watkins is available at 4 or 5, would it be good value for the Lions to bundle their 1st + 2nd to trade up for him?

    What about if he falls to 6 or 7, and it would cost our 1st + 3rd to move up for him?

    Or, are they just better off with somebody else at 10?

    • adminLions says:

      I would package the 10th pick and Fairley to move up as high as that would get me. The Lions will not do that, however. I would not give up any other picks, nor do I think Mayhew will either.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Van Noy is the consummate 2nd day type talent player, good collegiate production, solid overall game, but no one spectacular ability or elite athleticism. He will go in the 2nd round somewhere. I like the first three picks, though I would take Cooks over Fuller, because he has game changer and versatile weapon written all over him and because CBs are a crapshoot.

  4. The Strategy Expert says:

    We should be getting a comp pick too in the near future.

    • The Strategy Expert says:

      Well we just signed QB John Beck, and I missed the part after the Savage pick that did mention the comp pick, so looks like we very well could go without drafting a QB and have one more position to pick.

  5. Meiks says:

    1) Eric Ebron – Best TE in this, and probably next years drafts.
    2) Bradley Roby – BPA here, give Roby a year to mature and alongside Slay the Lions could have sorted their outside CB’s for years.
    3) Martavis Bryant – Strikes me as very similar to Justin Hunter who the Lions reportedly wanted last year has the uncoachable measurements but is one of the most raw prospects in the class.
    4) Trai Turner – Athletic but big guard, can replace Sims next year and add depth this season. Big fan of his game.
    6) Zach Hocker – Big leg kicker, fabulous.
    7) Denicos Allen – A flyer on an undersized LB, can’t go wrong here and at worst I see a special teams contributor.

  6. Weasel says:

    I really have no problem with Ebron if Khalil Mack is gone.
    In the second, Jimmie Ward or Kyle Van Noy
    In the third, Travis Swanson, Weston Richburg, keith McGill
    In the fourth, Moncrief or Herron
    The fourth round compensatory, Ahmad Dixon if we didn’t get Ward earlier. EJ Gaines.
    In the sixth Chris Boswell, Cairo Santos or Zach Hocker (all kickers).
    Ed Stinson

  7. najb29 says:

    there are 4 players the lions may have a shot on that can help.
    1st rd Gilbert ,Dennard,Barr,Evans
    Gilbert most atheletic
    Dennard most determined
    Barr most upside
    Evans a stud fit with Mega , Tate and Bush
    My pick since our rush was inconsistent,Palmer not a player would be Barr.
    2nd rd Ward,Fuller,Verette,Roby
    any of these that make it to the Lions.
    3rd rd. Moncrief
    4th rd. Richburg
    4th rd. Herron
    4th rd. Borland
    6th rd. Hocker
    7th rd. Bulloch

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