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Lions NFL Mock Draft

Nick Patrick, Staff Writer

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In this upcoming NFL draft, the Detroit Lions have the 23rd overall pick. The draft is less than a week away and it will start on Thursday, April 30 and will end on the following Saturday. For the first time in a while, the draft will be in Chicago and not New York. The draft is held every year as a way to bring fresh talent into the NFL. The Lions definitely need to hit big in this draft.

The Lions traded their forth and fifth round picks to the Ravens for Haloti Ngata and a seventh round pick, but got a fifth round pick back from the Bucs when they traded DE George Johnson. They will enter the draft with six picks and will try to draft the best players. Here is a list of their picks.

 

  • Round one
  • Round two
  • Round three
  • Round five (from Tampa Bay)
  • Round six
  • Round seven (from Miami via Baltimore)

 

There is a lot of people that have their own opinions about who the Lions should draft, but here is my opinion.

Round 1: OT/OG La’el Collins out of LSU

The Lions have yet to re-sign their starting guard from last year, Rob Sims, this leaves them very thin at left guard. The only LG on the roster is back up lineman Darren Keyton. It would be to the Lions benefit to bolster up their offensive line and indirectly it would help the struggling running game. The 21 year old is 6-5 and 306 pounds, which would be a good size for an NFL guard even though he played tackle as an LSU Tiger. Collins has won many awards throughout his four years as a starting tackle. Just this last year, he was voted a second team All-American by USA Today, and all the way back in 2011, he won Freshman All-American by CBSSports.com. He was also the winner of the prestigious Jacobs Blocking Trophy, being voted by SEC coaches. Anchoring the LSU line that  had almost 225 yards a game is a respectable accomplishment and that could help the Lions run game. He is projected as a top 20 pick but could slide a little bit on draft day. I hope he does.

“A guy who is extremely confident in his play and ability and ready to come into the NFL and be coached at a very high level, a guy who wants to be the best at the next level and is ready to compete,” La’el Collins said via redskins.com

Round 2: DT Micheal Bennett out of Ohio State

After losing all of their top three tackles in Suh, Fairley, and Mosley, the Lions stopped the bleeding by trading for Ngata and signing Walker. However, they still need to find one more. The former Ohio State Buckeye would be a suitable replacement for Ndumakong Suh for a second round pick. In his senior season, he was selected second team All-American. He did a great job finishing his college career because he had two sacks in the National championship game against Oregon. He totaled seven sacks in his last two seasons and 41 total tackles in 2013 and 42 in 2014. As you can see by his stats, he is a very consistent player and he has a smart football mind. At 6-2 he may be a little undersized for a DT, but they also said that about last years defensive rookie of the year who also happens to be a defensive tackle.

“Bennett is interesting, because down the stretch you could argue he was the MVP of that Ohio State defense, in the final four or five games and what he was able to do,” Dan Brugler (draft expert) via clevland.com said. “You see the quick-step penetration, he’s able to get into the backfield with that first step, that quickness, that get-off.”

Round 3: RB Telvin Coleman out of Indiana 

The Hoosiers star running back would become the home run threat the Detroit offense desperately lacked with Reggie Bush being injured nearly all of last season. At 5-11, 208 pounds, it seems like he is an ideal size for a speedy back in the NFL. He probably won’t  become an every down back but he would be excellent weapon to utilize sparingly. Although he projects as a second round pick in the NFL Draft by Cbssports.com, in today’s NFL, running backs have been known to slide down the draft, despite the hype, and I don’t believe this year will be any different. Coleman is the ideal running back for the Lions. At the combine, he ran a 4.4 and did better than that in his pro day. At the end of the year, he was able to finish seventh  in Heisman voting, it would be exceptional to get him in the third round. As a junior ,he had 2,036 yards on the ground and 141 reception yards. If the Lions can get him, it might be the steal of the draft.

Round 5: WR Kenny Bell out of Nebraska 

The Lions could use a WR and a KR/PR, Bell would hit two birds with one stone if the Lions drafted him. A lot of fans want starting KR Ross to lose his job because of his abysmal play last season, Bell might be a suitable replacement as well as a slot receiver. He finished the 2015 season with 788 yards and 47 receptions, average stats, but worthy of a fifth round pick. He is 6-1, 186 pounds, and is a good size wide receiver who can play outside or inside. He most likely wouldn’t start at WR his first year but he might be able to compete for the starting job as a kick and punt returner.

Round 6: CB Jacorey Shepard out of Kansas 

Robert Mathis is 34 years old for this coming season and it could be time for him to hang up the cleats soon. The Lions have looked for a good corner for several years but it just didn’t quite work out except with Darius Slay who has locked down the starting job. When you have a lock down corner, it would be a good addition to find a play making corner. Last season he was voted first team Big 12, he had 42 passes defended and five interceptions in the past two seasons. He converted from wide receiver to corner back so he would provide good ball skills on the defensive side of the ball. He might not be starting material now, but neither was All-Pro corner Richard Sherman when he converted from Receiver to Corner.

Round 7: SS Eric Dargan out of Oregon

With James Inhedigbo looking for a new contract after the end of this year and Detroit not quite willing to give it,  it might be a good idea to draft a safety to be his potential replacement. He resembles Inhedigbo in some ways as well. He is a big hitter that forced two  fumbles his senior season and 13 interceptions throughout his career. With a year as a back up, he could be ready within a year to take over the starting job.

“I’m really excited for Thursday, the draft is my favorite part of the off season and I hope they draft well so we can have a good season,” Devere Johnson, 12, said.

The draft is now days away and this is what I think the Lions should do if they can. They will have a pick in every round except for the fourth round because they lost that pick in the Ngata trade. We won’t know what they will do until Thursday night on ESPN. If they do draft something like this, I think they are in store for a great 2015-16 season. Whatever the Lions do, many Lions fans hopes it works out for them so we can finally see a Lions playoff win.

 

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Lions NFL Mock Draft