The Lions went on the clock over the weekend in the 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft, and with the 15th overall selection, I selected Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams. This wasn't an easy pick by any means as the top three players on my draft board were taken in succession right before Pride of Detroit went on the clock for the Lions, but I am happy with Williams.
Going into this mock draft, I had a general idea of who would probably be available when I got to make my pick for the Lions. Considering that, the top three players on my draft board were DE Derrick Harvey, OT Ryan Clady, and RB Rashard Mendenhall. I knew beforehand that not all three would be available when pick #15 rolled around, but I figured at least one would still be on the board. Unfortunately, that was a pretty bad assumption as things derailed starting with pick #12. The Broncos took Harvey with the 12th pick, the Panthers decided on Clady with the 13th pick, and to cap off Detroit's worst case scenario, the Bears drafted Mendenhall with the 14th pick. With my top three player's gone, I had to go back to square one when thinking about who to draft.
For the Lions, the draft will really have to be utilized to fill many needs that exist. Since this mock draft is only two rounds long, I can only address two positions of need for Detroit, which still leaves quite a few holes on the roster. Still, two new players can make a big difference, and hopefully in real life that is exactly what happens.
Thinking ahead to round two, I'm fairly confident that a talented running back will still be on the board when Detroit goes on the clock again. The same goes for the cornerback position as it is pretty deep talent-wise as well. Although the running back and cornerback positions could really use a first-round talent right now, I decided to wait to address those positions' needs.
Drafting an offensive tackle just seemed like the right move, which is why I decided to select Vanderbilt OT Chris Williams. Looking at the list of offensive tackles available, I really didn't have much confidence in the players that would still be on the board in the second-round. That's no slight to them as I'm sure they will be talented, but the risk just didn't seem worth it. I thought about drafting Jonathan Stewart, Mike Jenkins, or Aqib Talib, but in the end, my gut instinct led me to Williams.
Williams is someone that you could build your offensive line around, and his versatility gives you many options. Mocking the Draft's Matt Miller explains further.
That is basically my thinking behind this pick. Williams fills a huge need on the offensive line - whether it be the right or left side - and getting an OT out of the way leaves later rounds open for a running back or cornerback or defensive lineman. In the end, I'd rather see Harvey, Clady, or Mendenhall in a Lions uniform before Williams, but he certainly isn't a bad backup plan.