Day one of the 2014 NFL Draft will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 8. The Detroit Lions hold the 10th overall pick in the first and only round that will take place next Thursday.
This mock will be conducted without any trade considerations, although, I do believe that the possibility of the Lions moving up in the first round increases with each day that passes.
If Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is still available after the third pick, I believe Detroit will package two first-rounders along with at least one fourth rounder in a trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up to the fourth overall pick. (Atlanta Falcons traded a pair of first-round picks along with picks in the second and fourth rounds to move up 23 picks in the 2011 draft.)
The trade is pricey, but the eventual outcome of adding Watkins into the receiver group of Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate is well worth the cost. If the Lions are truly “all-in” for this season, this is the move Detroit needs to make.
Without further ado, here is the Lions final mock draft:
Round 1, Pick 10
There are numerous players that could eventually become the 10th overall pick by the Lions. Some of the names included in this discussion are:
Safeties HaHa Clinton Dix and Calvin Pryor, wide receivers Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr., outside linebacker Anthony Barr, offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard, tight end Eric Ebron, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
That’s ten different prospects and that list only includes the popular choices.
There’s a handful of players that have a legitimate case to be the right pick for the Lions, but the biggest uncertainty is figuring out who will be one of the nine players selected ahead of Detroit.
Here’s what I believe the board will look like when the Lions are officially on the clock:
Pick 1, Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Pick 2, St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Pick 3, Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Pick 4, Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Pick 5, Oakland Raiders: Johnny Maziel, QB, Texas A&M
Pick 6, Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Pick 7, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Pick 8, Minnesota Vikings: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
Pick 9, Buffalo Bills: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Which brings us to Detroit.
In previous mocks I have had the Lions taking Dennard/Gilbert, Barr, and Evans with the 10th overall pick.
With Evans off the board, I believe Detroit has three top prospects to consider; Barr, Clinton-Dix, and Ebron.
Barr is the missing piece to the Lions existing linebacking core of DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch. Barr displayed explosive raw-talent in the two years that he played on the defensive side of the ball at UCLA.
His 6-foot-5, 255-pound frame gives him the leverage and strength to become an outstanding pass rusher in the NFL.