It's always tough to predict what will happen in the NFL Draft, and this year is no exception. We may have gotten an extra couple weeks to do research and think about the different scenarios that could play out, but there is just as much uncertainty surrounding the draft as ever, especially in the top 10.
Despite all of the uncertainty, it's always fun to make predictions about what will happen in the draft. I admittedly have even less confidence than usual in my predictions for this year, but here are five guesses for what the Detroit Lions will do in the 2014 NFL Draft:
1. The Lions will try to trade up and trade down before ultimately staying at 10
I keep going back and forth about where the Lions will pick in the first round. On the one hand, I could see them jumping up for Sammy Watkins if he falls to something like the fifth pick, and I could just as easily see them falling back to 18 or somewhere in that range. I do think a trade is a possibility, but I just have a feeling the Lions will get stuck at 10 because moving up would cost too much and they wouldn't get enough back to make moving down worthwhile.
2. The Lions will take UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr with the 10th pick
Assuming the Lions do stay at 10, I'm going with Anthony Barr for who they will pick. I don't think Mike Evans or Aaron Donald will be there, and I don't expect them to go with Eric Ebron, Odell Beckham Jr. or the third or fourth offensive tackle. I also don't think they will address the secondary in the first round, so Barr it is.
3. On Day 2, the Lions will take a wide receiver and a cornerback
After filling their need for a pass rusher in the first round, I expect the Lions to turn their attention to two of their other top needs on Friday. This will result in them taking a wide receiver in the second round and a cornerback in the third round. (Safety will also be considered on Day 2, but I think the Lions will draft a cornerback on Friday instead.)
4. A kicker will be drafted by the Lions
The Lions took care of their need at punter last year by drafting Sam Martin in the fifth round. This year, despite having John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio under contract, I think the Lions will address their need at kicker. Specifically, I expect them to draft Boston College's Nate Freese, who took a pre-draft visit with the Lions.
5. By the end of the draft, the Lions will have addressed the following positions: OLB, WR, CB, S, C, DT, QB and K (in something close to that order)
Assuming the Lions finish the draft with eight picks, I expect these positions to be addressed over the course of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Lions should get immediate contributions from their picks at OLB, WR and K, and they will initially start off the other players in backup roles and let them develop as rookies.
What are your predictions for this year's draft?