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2015 NFL mock draft: Who might Lions target in first round next year?

Who might the Detroit Lions take in the 2015 NFL Draft? Let's examine some very early 2015 NFL mock drafts.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft may have just come to a close, but several 2015 NFL mock drafts have already been published. Yes, it's way too early to be thinking about next year's draft, and it's especially way too early to be thinking about who teams might pick. At the same time, though, it's fun to consider who might be in the mix for the first round next year, and it's interesting to consider what needs the Detroit Lions might have in 2015.

With that in mind, here's a rundown of four different 2015 NFL mock drafts and what they are predicting the Lions to do next year:

If the Lions continue to struggle against the pass in 2014 and none of their cornerbacks show improvement, using a first-rounder to address that position next year would make a lot of sense. The same goes for the safety position considering many viewed that as a top need this year. Defensive tackle also would make a lot of sense if Nick Fairley and/or Ndamukong Suh aren't re-signed.

As for the running back prediction, I'm not quite sure what the thinking is there. Joique Bell and Reggie Bush are both under contract through 2016, so unless Bush ends up being a cap casualty or something like that, it's hard to imagine that running back will be a major need. If it's not a major need and the Lions spend a first-round pick on a running back anyway, well, the reaction to that would not be pleasant, to say the least.

But again, mock drafts in general should be taken with a grain of salt, and that's especially true for mock drafts a year in advance. Case in point: For the 2014 mock drafts we looked at right after the 2013 draft, Eric Ebron wasn't even listed as a first-round pick. What's more, the Lions were projected to take Stanford offensive lineman David Yankey in one mock and Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert in another. Gilbert did end up going just two picks ahead of the Lions in the actual 2014 NFL Draft, but Yankey was a fifth-round pick.

In other words, it's probably best to go ahead and pretend the phrase "mock draft" doesn't exist as we transition into the next phase of the offseason. Mock draft season has been fun, but hopefully mock drafts won't be relevant to the Lions until next February at the earliest.

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