What happens on the first day of the 2014 NFL Draft will greatly impact the Detroit Lions' plan for the final six rounds. If they trade away their second-round pick to move up for a wide receiver, for example, it will be tougher to fill their needs at outside linebacker and cornerback simply because they will have only one pick on the second day of the draft. At the same time, if they move down, they might miss out on a top-10 pick, but they could end up with an extra selection in the second round.
These are just some of the scenarios to keep in mind, and with the help of First-Pick.com, I went ahead and put together three different seven-round 2014 NFL mock drafts for the Lions. Each mock draft features a different scenario in the first round:
Scenario 1: Stay at 10
Round 1 Pick 10: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Round 2 Pick 13: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Round 3 Pick 12: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
Round 4 Pick 11: Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
Round 4 Pick 33 (COMP): Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor
Round 4 Pick 36 (COMP): James Gayle, DE, Virginia Tech
Round 6 Pick 13: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OT, McGill (Canada)
Round 7 Pick 12: Shamar Stephen, DT, Connecticut
By staying at 10, I wasn't able to get a top wide receiver, but I did come away with Allen Robinson in the second round. This was after I took Anthony Barr at 10, and I addressed other notable needs like center, cornerback, safety and defensive end in the third and fourth rounds of the draft. With the Lions' final two picks, I added some depth at offensive tackle and defensive tackle.
Scenario 2: Trade up
Round 1 Pick 5 (OAK): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Round 3 Pick 12: Keith McGill, CB, Utah
Round 4 Pick 33 (COMP): Craig Loston, SS, LSU
Round 4 Pick 36 (COMP): Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia
Round 5 Pick 1 (HOU): Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
Round 5 Pick 13 (STL): Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
Round 6 Pick 1 (HOU): Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State
Round 7 Pick 12: Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg
In order to move up five spots to take Sammy Watkins, I surrendered the Lions' second- and sixth-round picks. To help make up for the loss of them, I moved down in the fourth round and received a couple of fifth-rounders and a new sixth-rounder for compensation. This allowed me to hit on needs like outside linebacker and center with picks I originally didn't have. Earlier in the draft, I addressed needs in the secondary with Keith McGill in the third and Craig Loston in the fourth.
Scenario 3: Trade down
Round 1 Pick 18 (NYJ): Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Round 2 Pick 13: Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
Round 2 Pick 17 (NYJ): Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
Round 3 Pick 12: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Round 4 Pick 11: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Round 4 Pick 33 (COMP): Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
Round 4 Pick 36 (COMP): Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma
Round 6 Pick 13: David Fales, QB, San Jose State
Round 7 Pick 12: Nate Freese, K, Boston College
Moving down eight spots (and still coming away with Odell Beckham Jr.) netted me an extra second-round pick, which I ended up using on Deone Bucannon. This was after I took Kareem Martin with the Lions' original second-rounder, giving them a new pass rusher to throw into the mix. I then filled needs at cornerback, outside linebacker, center, quarterback and kicker, and I also managed to add a tight end in the fourth round.
Which of these scenarios would you most like to see play out in the actual 2014 NFL Draft? I personally would have to go with the third one. Trading down allowed me to get the major needs out of the way early on, and I was then able to focus on some of the secondary needs like center, quarterback and kicker later in the draft. I came away with some good talent early on, and I added a lot of depth as well.
What say you?