I figured I would give my take on how the Lions should draft early this year. I would like the Lions to trade down in reality but I will not include trades in the mock.. Lets get started.
1st round, pick 5: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon.
I have flipped flopped with the pick so many times and I am still not set in stone with this decision. Right now, I agree with Todd McShay in the picking of Jordan. The guy is 6'7, 241 pounds and is an explosive athlete. Matthew Fairburn said that Jordan "moves like a safety". He is quite small for a DE, I understand that. I think that he can add muscle though, and could be a big time player in the future. I'm still not for sure, so if you disagree on this pick, I won't blame you.
2nd round, pick 4: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina.
This is one of those hope picks for me, with some understanding. Guards just aren't valued highly. It's that simple. David DeCastro last year was one of the highest rated guards of all time and he fell all the way down to the 24th pick last year. Chance Warmack is the #1 guard in this class but Cooper is almost just as good. He is a good athlete for the position and is a great run blocker. Why do you think Giovani Bernard was so good at UNC? He is BPA is he is available at this point also.
3rd round, pick 3: Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State.
Safety is a huge position of need in my eyes and Thomas here is a great fit. He is a natural play maker, ball hawking center fielder at 6'1, 210 pounds. He was also a Thorpe Award candidate with 8 interceptions this season and is a good character kid.
4th round, COMP PICK: Keenan Davis, WR, Iowa
Keenan is a big WR (6'2, 215) that is just moving up draft boards. In the 4th round, most of the WR's I would like to take are gone and not to mention Davis is almost a reach pick. He had a terrible QB situation after Ricky Stanzi left but he was the only reliable receiver on that team. He is a good route runner and pass catcher but can also block. He is also a good kid and is smart. Feels like the right pick here.
5th round, pick 4: Khaled Holmes, C, USC
Khaled is great value here in the 5th round and fills out a need. We need a replacement for Dom and unlike him, Khaled doesn't get blown off the line of scrimmage every down and holds his own. Holmes is 6'3, 310 pounds but is an amazing athlete for a lineman. I think him and Cooper could make a great young tandem with Riley Reiff holding down the blindside which would make a great line for the future.
6th round, pick 3: Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State
I'm gonna get so much crap for this pick. I know it, but I still want to make it. J-Money Hanson was the only good thing the Lions had going for us during the Dark Ages (M***** Era) and that was stability. Now Jason has gotten older and we need to groom a replacement to keep that stability going. Jimbo Fisher was quoted saying Hopkins was like "having money in the bank". He was 25-30 this season and is considered a special teams threat with his kickoffs. This would not be a 'sexy' pick but it gives the team a good kicker for years to come.
7th round, pick 5: Ryan Allen, P, Louisiana Tech
Another pick I'll get bashed on about. Well I think punter is a need for the Lions. Nick Harris keeps sticking around but we need a new punter of the future. It's the stability thing again. Allen beat out Bryan Anger and Brad Wing for the 2011 Ray Guy Award. Anger was a 3rd round pick last year for the Jags and Wing is a considerable draft pick this year. He averaged 52.4 yards per punt (5 attempts) during the Senior Bowl with a high of 54. If the Lions had a guy that could flip the field for us, that would be very helpful for the team.
That's my early mock for the Lions, trust me it probably will change. I have mostly lineman and special teamers but I think we need the little stuff to go right for the big stuff to go right. Tell me what you think and Go Lions!
Note: I didn't pick a scat back in this mock with the thinking the FO will get one in Free Agency. That's what I think we will do but we will have to wait and see.