The entire 2014 NFL Draft order will not be determined until the NFL releases the 32 compensatory selections, which will most likely happen in March. As of now, the Detroit Lions have just three selections in the draft’s final four rounds. In 2012 the Lions traded their 2014 fifth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for wide receiver Mike Thomas, who had just five catches in nine games as a Lion.
In rounds 1-3 of my first Lion’s mock draft, which can be viewed here, I have them selecting; Darqueze Dennard, Jordan Matthews, and Travis Swanson. This first late-round mock draft will follow the same guidelines as the previous one.
Note: This mock draft does not account for trades or compensatory picks and I am under the assumption that Detroit will address the kicker position in free agency
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Terrance Brooks, Safety – Florida State
With the possibility that Detroit may part ways with current safety Louis Delmas, this is a good round find a future replacement if not an immediate one. Even if Delmas remains on the team, it’s hard to count on him to play in all 16 games. Brooks is a fast, ball-hawking safety who transitioned from the cornerback position. Detroit’s secondary will be a primary focus in this year’s draft, this is a good spot for the Lions to grab a safety.
Notables – Kenny Ladler, Safey (Vanderbilt) and DeMarcus Lawrence, Defensive end/Outside linebacker (Boise State)
Howard Jones, Defensive end/Outside linebacker – Shepherd
The decision whether or not the Lions will re-sign Willie Young will have a huge impact on the level of need for a defensive end in this year’s draft. If the Lions are unable to bring back Young, a former seventh-round pick, they might look to get a defensive end earlier in the draft. With that being said, there are many needs the Lions need to address before defensive end and Howard Jones has the potential to be the biggest steal in this year’s draft. The NFL Combine (February 22-25) is a very important step in the process of evaluating this prospect; this Division II star is listed anywhere from 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4 and his 40-time ranges from 4.31-4.54. His speed off the ball and ability to play defensive end and outside linebacker would be a great addition to the Lions’ defense as they lack depth at the linebacker position.
Notables – De’Anthony Thomas, Running back (Oregon) and Shamar Stephen, Defensive tackle (Connecticut)
Jeff Mathews, Quarterback – Cornell
The Lions will not be able to bring back veteran quarterback Shaun Hill if there is any sort of market for him in free agency, which there will be. Without him in the picture, the only quarterback on the roster outside of Matthew Stafford is Kellen Moore (yes, that lefty from Boise State). If this situation presents itself on draft day then Detroit should grab a pro-style quarterback, but not until the seventh round. Jeff Matthews nearly threw for 3,000 yards this past season with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. At 6-foot-3 he is the prototypical-sized NFL quarterback, and it couldn’t hurt to have an Ivy League guy in the Lions’ locker room.
If there isn’t a need for the quarterback position then this is the opportunity for the Lions to draft speed and try to hit the playmaker-jackpot.
Notables – Tevin Reese, Wide receiver (Baylor) and L’Damian Washington, Wide receiver (Missouri)
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