The Lions hired Matt Patricia, so the front office obviously believes he can coach up the defensive players. Thus, it wouldn't surprise me if Detroit's initial selection is spent on an offensive weapon.
Detroit's rushing attack is extremely lackluster, as Ameer Abdullah has been a major disappointment. Sony Michel would provide a massive upgrade, giving Matthew Stafford the backfield weapon he desperately wants. Michel was Georgia's best running back this past season, and I believe there's a good chance he'll be the second running back chosen in this class.
Rd. 2, Pk. 19
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
The Lions really need to focus on bolstering their pass rush, and they could use an interior presence to go along with A'Shawn Robinson.
Maurice Hurst is a tweener at 6-2, 282. He's a disruptive player, but doesn't have a defined position.
Rd. 3, Pk. 18
Jamarcus King, CB, South Carolina
The Lions have an outstanding cornerback in Darius Slay, but they really need another strong option at the position.
Pick change; previously Tarvarus McFadden, CB
Rd. 4, Pk. 17
Hercules Mata'afa, DE, Washington State
Ziggy Ansah is Detroit's best free agent. He'll need to be replaced if he leaves via the open market. Another edge rusher wouldn't hurt regardless.
Pick change; previously Jayln Holmes, DE
Rd. 5, Pk. 16
Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama
The Lions could be losing Travis Swanson this offseason, so they'll need a replacement at center.
The Lions need to improve their linebacking talent and add an edge rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah. Watt could play linebacker on run downs and rush off the edge in passing situations. Thus, he would help Detroit's defense in two spots.
Watt was one of the breakout players of the 2016 season. He is good at setting the edge in run defense and also is a terror in the pass rush off the edge. Watt recorded 63 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2016. The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder could be even better as he gains experience. Watt isn't the fastest or most explosive edge defender, but he is tough with advanced technique and a great motor.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
The Lions could use multiple linebacker upgrades from this draft class.
In 2016, McMillan was solid for Ohio State with 102 tackles, seven for a loss, two sacks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder played well in 2015, totaling 119 tackles with 1.5 sacks and four passes broken up on the year. As a freshman in 2014, he played a lot for Ohio State and totaled 54 tackles with 2.5 sacks and a pick-six.
McMillan is a tough defender who has the skill set to be a three-down starter in the NFL. Right now, however, he struggles in pass coverage and needs to improve his ability to drop into coverage. McMillan is a physical, tough run defender at the point of attack.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
The Lions could use more tight end talent, and Shaheen is a physical freak. He could pair with Eric Ebron and maybe replace him as the feature tight end in Detroit.
Sources say that Shaheen (6-6, 278) is a freak athlete who could be one of the mid-round steals in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was a workout warrior, as expected, but team sources say that his tape showed serious receiving ability for the next level. Even though Shaheen is tall and thick, he has freaky speed and athleticism for such a big tight end. Teams think that Shaheen could be a versatile tight end to create mismatches in the passing game.
Shaheen caught 57 passes for 867 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2016. The previous season, he had 70 receptions for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns. Some team sources even compared Shaheen to Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Ameer Abdullah has been a disappointment thus far for the Lions. Even if he turns it on in Year 3, Detroit could use a power runner to pair with him.
Clement averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,375 yards with 15 touchdowns. He had 12 receptions for 132 yards as well. Clement (5-10, 221) had a respectable showing at the Senior Bowl as he was a physical downhill runner.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska
The Lions could use some more safety depth as both of their starters will be free agents after the 2018 season.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Zach Pascal, WR, Old Dominion
The Lions could use some receiver depth, and Pascal could be a steal.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Jeremiah Valoaga, DE/TE, UNLV
The Lions grab a late-round sleeper they've shown interest in.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State
The Lions add more defensive tackle talent with a player they hosted.
Again, I can see a lot of running backs being taken sooner than normal due to their high talent, but could also see them slide as teams go after positions with less talented depth. For the Lions though they should just take the best back available at this juncture since it is a disservice to Matthew Stafford by how bad their running game has been. How could your last 100 yard rusher be a washed up Reggie Bush a year away from retirement. If they can find a guy who can run the ball consistently for Stafford to allow them to have a more balanced offense he could maybe bring this team on a nice playoff run. Guice would be a first rounder had he put up better numbers, but LSU's offense was so inept that it dragged him down as well. He displays good balance, vision, and speed that has me thinking he could be better long term than his former teammate Leonard Fournette. Especially, since Guice does not go out looking for contact like Fournette is.
Last Mock Pick: Tremaine Edmunds LB Virginia Tech
The Lions could use a pass rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah who could depart via free agency if they fail to give him the franchise tag. Even if they do bring him back he needs a compliment rusher to take attention away from him and his health has also been shaky over the years. Key could be the top pass rusher if not for some injury and off the field concerns. Neither are too major, but give you pause if you were to risk a very high first round pick on him. He is possibly the fastest and most explosive edge rusher with a lot of talent. Key also has been working hard on his technique and hand usage to get better. Whoever stops his slide could land a very nice player here who could be a cornerstone of a defense.
Last Mock Pick: Bryce Love RB Stanford
The Lions grab an end to go opposite of Ziggy Ansah, and if Ansah isn't re-signed, defensive end will be a huge need. <br> <br>
Davenport (6-5, 259) possesses an excellent skill set with speed and agility. He has length and athleticism to play on the edge in the NFL, but needs to learn more pass-rushing moves. In 2017, Davenport notched 55 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four passes batted and three forced fumbles. He totaled 6.5 sacks as a junior after notching four as a sophomore. <br> <br>
Edge defenders with length, quickness, and athleticism are always in demand, so Davenport could go in the first round in a weak year at defensive end. Scouts from multiple teams have told me that Davenport is a good player and impressed them in 2017, but they thought the top 16 is too high for him. They think the back half of Round 1 is possible.
The Lions could use an edge rusher across from Ziggy Ansah. <br> <br>
In 2017, Landry has 32 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, five sacks and two passes broken up. The senior was manhandled by Notre Dame, struggling against a freshman right tackle and, on a few snaps, against left tackle Mike McGlinchey. Landry was moderately better, but still underwhelming, against Clemson.<br> <br>
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Landry had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops and 4.5 sacks. Landry would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
The Lions grab a three-technique and interior pass-rusher to go with A'Shawn Robinson. Here's a versatile defensive lineman who is a great athlete. Wilkins could help Detroit in a variety of places. <br> <br>
Wilkins has 45 tackles with seven for a loss and four sacks this season. He has been disruptive at the point of attack, showing speed to create havoc behind the line of scrimmage. Wilkins is a great athlete for his size and has the versatility to play a variety of techniques. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has a nice skill set with upside and could also fit as a 3-4 defensive end. <br> <br>
Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore had 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted on the year. Because of injuries, Wilkins played a lot of defensive end. He showed nice athleticism and versatility, but is at his best on the inside, using his mismatch speed against guards. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015.