The 2015 SB Nation NFL writers mock draft is underway. Once again, I am serving as the Detroit Lions' general manager in this mock draft, and with the 23rd overall pick, I decided to select Florida offensive tackle D.J. Humphries.
Why Humphries? Three main factors led to this pick:
1. The offensive line needs to be better
Quite simply, the O-line needs an upgrade of some kind after their performance last season. That upgrade could come in the form of a new left tackle, new left guard and/or new right tackle depending on how the draft plays out. In this mock draft, based on the players available, I opted to make an upgrade at offensive tackle by taking Humphries. As Daniel Jeremiah said last month, Humphries has the potential to be a Day 1 starter at left tackle, and taking him would allow the Lions to move Riley Reiff to right tackle. In other words, adding Humphries would give the Lions the potential to upgrade two spots on the offensive line. And even if Humphries doesn't immediately start at left tackle, he could still find a starting spot somewhere on the offensive line as a rookie.
2. I feel pretty good about adding a defensive tackle in the second round
With Florida State's Eddie Goldman being the best available defensive tackle, I honestly feel better about my options in the second round than the first round. Rather than potentially reach for Goldman just to fill a need, I feel like defensive tackle can wait to be addressed. It remains to be seen if guys like Carl Davis, Michael Bennett and Xavier Cooper will still be on the board when the Lions' next pick comes around, but I just think there's better value in waiting on adding a defensive tackle based on how the first round has played out so far.
3. No players at other positions jumped out as worthwhile options
Although my focus was mainly on the offensive line and defensive tackle, I did give some serious thought to players at other positions. In particular, cornerbacks Jalen Collins and Kevin Johnson jumped out as intriguing options, and I also briefly thought about bolstering the pass rush with a defensive end like Owamagbe Odighizuwa. In the end, though, none of the players left at cornerback, defensive end, running back, wide receiver or any other position stood out as being more valuable than Humphries. This wasn't a situation where there was clearly a better player available at a position of lesser need. In my view, Humphries was the top player left on the board given his talent, his upside and his ability to improve the offensive line.