Each year, NFL Network's Mike Mayock releases one mock draft. Rather than constantly make new ones over the course of the offseason, he simply waits until the eve of the draft to make his one and only projection for the first round.
Mayock's 2014 NFL mock draft will be fully revealed on NFL Network on Wednesday night, but his first 15 picks are already out. At No. 10, Mayock has the Detroit Lions going with Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Interestingly enough, he has Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert going to the Minnesota Vikings two spots ahead of the Lions despite Gilbert being his No. 3 cornerback in the draft (behind Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller and Dennard).
So, why Dennard? Well, the first nine picks didn't exactly go so well for the Lions. Mayock has a top five of Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Khalil Mack, Jake Matthews and Sammy Watkins, and he has both Taylor Lewan and Zack Martin being picked ahead of the Lions as well. Mike Evans is also off the board in the top 10, leaving the Lions with a somewhat limited amount of options.
Instead of taking the top player at tight end, safety or defensive tackle, Mayock went with the second cornerback by penciling in Dennard for the Lions. With Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel both still on the board, my hope would be that the Lions could find a trade partner to move out of the No. 10 spot in a scenario like this, but Mayock didn't project any trades in his mock draft, so Dennard was the pick.