The conclusion of the 2007 SB Nation Mock Draft for the Detroit Lions is here. As we headed into the weekend, I made the 64th and 66th overall picks for the Lions and am very pleased with both selections. Before I get into who I drafted with those picks, let's first recap what has happened so far for Detroit in this network-wide mock draft.
In the first round, I made it known that my preference would be to trade down. In the final hours before my deadline for the pick, it was looking as though I would be stuck at #2. If that would've happened, I'm not even sure who I would've picked, but that isn't important as it wasn't the end result. Instead, I made a trade with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers received the #2 pick and in return I got the #4 and #64 overall picks. If you would've looked at the trade value chart, the deal heavily favored Tampa Bay. However, since the opportunity to move down and still draft a player I wanted was there, I jumped at the chance. In return, I picked up pick #64, and as you will see in a few moments, that proved to be a good move.
After moving down to #4, I drafted defensive end Gaines Adams out of Clemson. Detroit has a pressing need at DE as Cory Redding has moved inside to DT, so that left me with my mind set on Adams. He is said by some to be the best defensive player in the draft, and others undoubtedly will say he is the best pass-rusher, which is huge in the Cover-2 defense.
With one need at a defensive position taken care of, I set my sights on a cornerback in the second round. The reason behind that was the sense that my other main targeted position, middle linebacker, would still provide me with the player I wanted at my next pick. Again, as you'll see in a few moments, it did just that. Getting back to the actual pick, I decided on Marcus McCauley out of Fresno State. McCauley's style of play is very physical, which is something needed for a Cover-2 CB.
Following my first two picks, I still had a pair to make with the #64 and #66 selections. There I knew one pick would be at the MLB position as that is another of the many needs for the Lions. After I drafted McCauley, I had hopes that either David Harris or Brandon Siler would fall to #64. Siler was taken by Carolina at pick #45, so it all was on if Harris would fall or be taken ahead of me. As the final picks were announced, Harris remained on the big board, which made me more than happy.
With that being said, I chose David Harris, a middle linebacker out of Michigan, with the #64 overall pick of the 2007 SB Nation Mock Draft. Harris is one of the top MLB's in the draft and I'm actually surprised he fell this far. I've had the opportunity to watch him in person for the last few years as he played his college ball at the University of Michigan. Harris is a very physical player that has speed as well. He can drop back into coverage or rush the quarterback to make a big play. That versatility is something that any team would love to have.
As far as where Harris will go in real life, I will guarantee he doesn't fall this far on Saturday. Some recent mocks have Harris going in the early second round, and Pro Football Talk is even reporting that the Patriots could take him in the first round. With so many great accolades, I am ecstatic over this selection.
With the three big defensive needs taken care of already, my fourth and final pick of this mock draft was really a wild card of sorts. I could've gone the route of defense again, but I instead decided to turn to the offensive side of the ball.
Many of the so-called "experts" out there continually question why Detroit doesn't draft a QB with the #2 overall pick. They obviously believe that Jon Kitna isn't the guy that can take Detroit to the next level, and that may not be so far off. What prevents Detroit from going after a franchise quarterback early on is the fact that there are too many other gaping holes on the roster. Positions such as DE, CB, and MLB have needs that have to be addressed, and taking a QB in the first or even second round is not the way to go about doing that. This is where that extra pick I received from Tampa Bay comes in. Pick #64 came in from the trade and allowed me to take David Harris. Instead of using my third-rounder on a MLB, I can instead target a QB.
In the third round, there are a few quarterbacks that could be drafted by the Lions. Some of the names floating out there are Trent Edwards from Stanford, John Beck from BYU, and finally Drew Stanton from Michigan State. Putting personal allegiances aside, I felt that Drew Stanton was the best of the three to take with pick #66.
Stanton didn't have a lot of success on paper in college in the sense of wins as he was surrounded by bad coaching and not the greatest talent in the world. As a player though, he can move around and cause the defense to have to deal with a scrambler. His arm is also very strong, which allows him to hit his targets quickly. Talent isn't the only upside of drafting Stanton. Since he is from Michigan State, the Lions could easily market to his local fanbase in East Lansing. From a business standpoint, a possible starting QB down the road that is from the same state provides endless opportunities for the marketing department. Although it may upset some in Ann Arbor, myself included to an extent, it would be something to think about.
I think the biggest thing about Drew Stanton is his potential. I know some may say that the word potential is one that describes a player with many question marks, but pair it up with Mike Martz and it usually results in success. The thought of Martz being able to mentor or sculpt Stanton is one that could someday result in a franchise QB. It would be a risk to take Stanton early on in the second round, but taking him with a third rounder is simply the smart thing to do. As with Harris, I have my doubts that Stanton will fall this far in real life, but it is something nice to think about.
Overall, I am very happy with how this mock draft turned out for Detroit. Coming into it, I had the intention to address the major needs the Lions faced. With that mindset, I drafted a defensive end, cornerback, and middle linebacker, three positions that Detroit definitely needs help at. Then by taking Stanton, I may actually fill a future need depending on how he works out as a player. If this is how things turn out in real life for the Lions, I would first make sure that Matt Millen was behind it, and then would go on to greatly praise him for a change.
Even though the Lions are done in the 2007 SB Nation Mock Draft, there are still many picks to be completed before it is finished. We are nearing the midpoint of the third and final round and hopefully will have it done by Friday. To follow the final picks, head on over to the hub for this mock draft here at Pride of Detroit.
Until then, thanks for all of the input I received from you guys out there and I hope I represented the Lions well in this endeavor.