In yet another sign that the Detroit Lions are exploring a possible trade up in the 2014 NFL Draft, Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack is set to visit the team next week, according to the Free Press' Dave Birkett. Earlier this month, top prospects like Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney visited the Lions, signaling that they are at least thinking about moving up from the 10th pick.
Mack is expected to fall no lower than sixth overall in this year's draft. Many think he could be one of the very top picks after a strong senior season at Buffalo. He had 100 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks, and he also had 3 interceptions (for 2 touchdowns), 7 passes defended and 5 forced fumbles.
Mack is certainly one of the most talented defensive players in this year's draft, and he would fill the Lions' need for a pass-rushing outside linebacker. He's versatile enough to play both outside linebacker and defensive end, and he's balanced enough to start over Ashlee Palmer from Day 1. His skills would definitely improve the Lions' pass rush, but he's a pretty well-rounded player overall.
There's been a lot of talk as of late about the Lions moving all the way up to the No. 2 pick to take Clowney or Watkins. However, perhaps they will instead trade up to something like the fifth overall pick to take Mack and fill a big need on defense in the process.