MOCK DRAFT WATCH: Final predictions

The NFL draft is just a day away, and then we can finally put all the prognostications and guess work behind us on what might happen.

The mock draft cycle has been in high gear for months now, but most of the analysts have made their final and best guesses as to what the Detroit Lions might do with the No. 20 pick during Thursday’s first round.

Here’s a final look at the mock drafts:

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Why: I love the way Hernandez plays the game. His physical, nasty style will fit well with the new coaching staff in Detroit.

Jeremiah’s full mock

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Why: The Lions placed the franchise tag on Ziggy Ansah, but they need to find a partner or eventual replacement for him on the edge. Davenport is ultra-explosive.

Brooks’ full mock

Charley Casserly, NFL.com

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Why: The Lions go from having a poor running game to making it a strength of the team with the selection of Guice.

Casserly’s full mock

Charles Davis, NFL.com

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Why: Has excellent movement skills and is hard to block in the passing game. Lions need an inside pass rusher. My wild card here is a RB.

Davis’ full mock

Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Why: He’s an athletic pass rusher who can learn from Ziggy Ansah and make an immediate impact for Matt Patricia’s unit.

Jones-Drew’s full mock

Curtis Conway, NFL.com

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Why: I initially liked LSU RB Derrius Guice going to Detroit, but there’s not much room in the RB room with the Lions signing LeGarrette Blount this offseason. Looking at the defensive side of the ball, Bryan could really boost a D-line in need of a tackle.

Conway’s full mock

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Why: Now that Ziggy Ansah has signed his franchise tender, the Lions could add Landry across the way and make them a nice one-two punch.

Reuter’s full mock

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN.com

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Why: I thought about an edge rusher at pick No. 20, but Bryan has the highest ceiling of all of the interior rushers in this class, and the Lions need all the help they can get along the defensive line. Bryan is raw and underperformed in college, but he has the athletic traits that make scouts drool and coaches want to work with him.

Kiper’s full mock

Todd McShay, ESPN.com

Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Why: Hernandez has short arms (32 inches) for a guard but is a powerful run-blocker and is improving in pass protection. He’d be a likely starter.

McShay’s full mock

Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTEP

Why: Defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia is going to be expected to help boost a pass rush that ranked 20th in the NFL a season ago in sacks despite playing half their games against some awful NFC North offensive lines. The Lions could see a lot of the same moldable traits in Davenport that have helped Ziggy Ansah develop into one of the premier edge rushers in the NFL — when he is healthy and complemented with other talent.

Rang’s full mock

Dane Brugler, NFL Draft Scout

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Why: While A’Shawn Robinson is a solid interior defender, the Lions lack an up-field threat who can create consistent interior disruption. Bryan has the raw skill-set to fix that.

Brugler’s full mock

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Why: They need to get more help for Ziggy Ansah and their pass rush. Landry had a down year in 2017, but he was really impressive in 2016.

Prisco’s full mock

Chris Trapasso, CBSSports.com

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Why: Bo Davis is the new Lions defensive line coach. He also coached Davenport at UTSA. The Lions have Ziggy Ansah under the tag, but Davenport is a nice investment on the edge.

Trapasso’s full mock

R.J. White, CBSSports.com

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Why: Running back isn’t the Lions’ biggest need after the signing of LeGarrette Blount, but it’s still enough of an issue that it’s hard to pass on the super-talented Guice at No. 20. If the Lions pass on him, it feels like he could fall out of the first round, so they may want to explore a trade back 8-10 picks before grabbing him, if he ends up being their top target remaining at No. 20.

White’s full mock

Jared Dubin, CBSSports.com

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Why: The Lions need someone to help Ezekiel Ansah rush the passer. Davenport has a twitchy motor and is the kind of high-upside player they can mold into a long-term partner for Ansah on the defensive front.

Dubin’s full mock

Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com

Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Why: Darius Slay is one of the NFL’s best young corners and Jackson has the physical attributes to become a force opposite him in a division that features Aaron Rodgers and now Kirk Cousins.

Wilson’s full mock

Will Brinson, CBSSports.com

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Why: Matt Patricia can invest in a defensive anchor out of the gate by landing Payne here and plugging him into the middle of his defensive line.

Brinson’s full mock

Albert Breer, SI.com

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Why: I believe new head coach Matt Patricia will give his players an example of what he’s looking for with this pick. And Payne fits that.

Breer’s full mock

Peter King, SI.com

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Why: This is an Albert Breer special. I stole it from him, and I’m not ashamed to say it. Payne is the kind of versatile, big-bodied interior lineman who will be a Matt Patricia staple in the next three years as he builds a stout front. Payne is 311 pounds, a bit of a Malcom Brown type, and he’s just 20, with lots of time to be sculpted into a classic two and three-down player to disrupt the interior in the NFC North.

King’s full mock

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Why: It would only be fitting for the Matt Patricia era in Detroit to kick off with a pick from the New England area. What Landry lacks in a strength he makes up for with his explosive burst and top-notch elasticity.

Middlehurst-Schwartz’s full mock

Nick Klopsis, Newsday

Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

Why: The Lions had the NFL’s worst rushing offense in 2017 with just 76.3 yards per game. They signed LeGarrette Blount but could use another big-play back to complement the hard-running Blount and pass-catching Theo Riddick. Sony Michel is a versatile back with the power, speed and pass-catching ability.

Klopsis’ full mock

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Why: Over the last three seasons, Ziggy Ansah has totaled 28.5 sacks, while Devin Taylor (now with the Giants) totaled 11.5. No other Lions defender notched more than 8.0. An edge-rusher to bookend with Ansah is a critical need, and Davenport is a bit like the young Ansah: raw, but almost preternaturally gifted. Davenport may be drafted much earlier due to the edge-rusher shortage. Boston College’s Harold Landry is also a possibility here, as is Derrius Guice if he slips and the Lions decide to address their other obvious need.

Tanier’s full mock

Eric Galko, Sporting News

Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

Why: The Lions’ running game last year was atrocious. While they could add a top rusher like Derrius Guice, they’d be wise to focus on their offensive line first and foremost. They can then look to the middle rounds for a runner who can take advantage of the improved blocking.

Glako’s full mock

Pro Football Focus

Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Why: Matt Patricia has gone on the record saying he wants his new defense to be multiple and with significant needs at both edge rusher and coverage linebacker, possibly no player in this draft better fits the “versatility” moniker than Edmunds. He posted six sacks in each of his last two seasons at Virginia Tech despite a primarily off-the-ball role and last year he posted a coverage grade of 81.0 while also owning the ninth-best run-stop percentage (12.5) among all FBS linebackers. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and still just 19 years old, the sky is the limit for Edmunds.

PFF’s full mock

Peter Schrager, NFL.com

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Why: In Matt Patricia’s first draft with Bob Quinn, I expect Detroit to go with another defensive player in the first round. The Lions’ offensive line was bruised and battered for most of last season, but when healthy, it can hold its own. So, Detroit goes defense here. Payne is an accomplished player who competed at the highest level in college, and he still has room to grow.

Schrager’s full mock

Nate Davis, USA Today

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Why: He’s received unwarranted comparisons to J.J. Watt, which is nice. It’s probably more realistic to hope Bryan could replicate some of the havoc and versatility of ex-Patriot Richard Seymour, a player whose abilities would resonate with new Detroit coach Matt Patricia.

Davis’ full mock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*