Pass rushers have become a premium in Mock drafts over the past month.
It’s been about a month since we last took a look at the Mock Drafts that have been coming out in droves. About 30 days, but 100 more mock drafts have been added to our mock draft database here at Pride Of Detroit. When we last checked in, defensive ends had only just overtaken cornerbacks as the most mocked position to the Detroit Lions, while a pair of local pass rushers, Michigan’s Taco Charlton and Michigan State’s Malik McDowell, had been mocked to the team 35 times between them. Let’s take a look where the next mock drafts pulled the numbers.
We noted the trend lines were changing in our last mock draft, but they’ve accelerated since then. Pass rushers have dominated the mock draft circuit. There were no new defensive ends since the last time, but we’ve seen a whole lot more outlets both big draft and smaller bloggers who know that the Lions biggest need is still pass rusher. Since releasing DeAndre Levy, linebacker has seen a resurgence a bit, but not enough to catch up to their needs in the secondary and pass rushers. We still occasionally see a wide receiver or running back mocked to the team, but that’s largely died off. Offensive lineman were mocked often to the Lions over a brief period before free agency started, but I expect that to largely silence itself as we near the draft, at least in the early rounds.
The media’s love of mocking Taco Charlton to the Detroit Lions has not died down one bit, and he retains the top spot in our mock draft tracker with some cushion. The NFL Combine has largely cemented Leonard Fournette in the top of the draft, while health and speed questions haven’t died down the fervor of Mike Williams and Corey Davis early, so all three of them have seen little action to the Lions lately. There are still some Dalvin Cook mocks, but the Christian McCaffrey mocks have quieted down since he dominated the combine. Despite the obvious defensive needs, the overall athleticism of this year’s tight end group has seen a larger than expected volume of mock drafts with the team selecting either Alabama’s O.J. Howard or Miami’s David Njoku. Disappointing, but not terrible showings from Takkarist McKinley and Tim Williams have still pushed them down in many mocks while a strong showing by Carl Lawson has seen his name mentioned more often.
Sidney Jones’ injury has seen him disappear from the first round of mock drafts, as you’d expect. The poor combine showings of Teez Tabor and Jourdan Lewis have seen them largely disappear from first-round consideration with the latter’s arrest further torpedoing his draft stock. Despite awful combine showings, both Charles Harris and Caleb Brantley still enjoy the occasional mock at 21st overall, while Haason Reddick may have jumped past the Lions 21st overall pick due to his combine. Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster did everything he could to fall out of the top 15 and is now being seen regularly in mocks to the Lions at 21. Derek Barnett, whose athletic ability was questioned prior to the combine, measured out only just below average despite being deathly ill when he measured, which seems to have impressed the draft community enough to keep him in first round consideration and even raised him on some boards. Jabrill Peppers still sees his name on a few mocks, even to the Lions, but questions about what position he can play in the NFL and when he can be ready have caused ripples among the larger draft community and people like Todd McShay have removed him from the first round altogether.