After months and months of waiting, NFL Draft week has finally arrived. It's really here. And we're only a couple days away from the madness that will ensue from months of preparation and buildup. It is a process where conscientious individuals spend tireless hours of scouting, planning and sorting out their "big boards" with hundreds of future NFL talents.
It's a truly grueling process that ultimately ends in a game of chance. No one really knows exactly how these kids will project to the NFL. You can spend hundreds of hours scouting a player and obsess over their measurables at the "Underwear Olympics," but essentially, you're taking just as much of a gamble or risk as the next team. And that's what makes the NFL Draft so damn exciting. It's the only point of the year where you can be absolutely sure of who the Detroit Lions are going to pick, and then it turns out that you had never even heard of Gosder Cherilus before.
So, with all of that being said, it's time for us to make some bold-ass predictions regarding the Detroit Lions and the 2015 NFL Draft in general.
The Lions will trade out of the No. 23 overall pick
Every year, fans want to trade back. They scream and clamor because the guy they want isn't there, so the next best thing is to trade back and add an extra pick or two. I will admit that I was a little annoyed when the Lions decided to send their pick in for Ziggy Ansah with over four minutes left on the clock in 2013. I thought they should have at least waited to hear some more offers, but of course trading back is a lot easier said than done.
Although general manager Martin Mayhew has never traded back in the first round, this seems to be the year that it may actually happen. There appears to be a huge drop-off in talent from the top half of the first round to the bottom half. If Todd Gurley and/or Melvin Gordon are still on the board and the Lions want to wait for a running back, then either of those two players would be the perfect trade bait for someone willing to move up.
The Lions will not select a defensive tackle until Day 3 of the draft
Not only will the Lions decide to pass up on a DT in the first round, but it's possible they may wait until the later rounds. They could certainly use some depth across their D-line, but I don't know if they're in as much trouble as the national media seems to believe. Pro Football Focus recently released a two-round mock draft where they decided to select two DTs for Detroit (Clemson's Grady Jarrett and Ohio State's Michael Bennett). I normally don't like to trash a mock draft, as I believe it's utterly pointless, but this was a complete joke to me.
The Lions already have Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker and Jason Jones to split some productive reps. If they choose to draft a DT this year, I think it's much more likely we'll see one selected on Day 2 or 3 of the draft. I'm not really in love with any of the first-round DT options, and the drop-off in talent between guys like Malcom Brown and Xavier Cooper isn't as big as you may think.
Possible Day 3 options: Darius Philon (Arkansas), Derrick Lott (Tennessee-Chattanooga), Gabe Wright (Auburn), Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa), Xavier Williams (Northern Iowa)
The Lions will take a wide receiver with one of their first three picks
Wait, what? The Lions don't need a receiver that early!
Mayhew has drafted a WR every single year since his promotion. We already know of his infamous BPA (best player available) philosophy, and I wouldn't be all that shocked if he decides to draft another offensive weapon early in the draft. Keep in mind that the Lions have brought in six different receivers for pre-draft visits (second-most of any position), with four of them projected to go between the first and fourth rounds.
It appears that the Lions are determined to add someone who can compete with Jeremy Ross for the return specialist role. If they're able to trade back and add an extra pick, while adding someone who can make plays as both a receiver and a return specialist, then this could make a lot of sense.
Possible targets: Tre McBride (William & Mary), Tyler Lockett (Kansas State)
At least two offensive linemen will be selected by the Lions
Okay, maybe this isn't THAT bold, but I'm calling this one a lock prediction. There are a ton of question marks regarding the Lions' O-line heading into next season. The coaching staff cannot commit to where they believe Riley Reiff is best suited, and there are concerns over whether LaAdrian Waddle will even be ready to play by the start of the regular season. Not to mention the Lions don't even have a starting left guard on their roster yet.
Possible targets: Anyone with two arms and two legs.
Bold predictions likely unrelated to the Lions
- There will be at least five trades made on Day 1 of the draft
- Nelson Agholor will be a top-20 selection
- Trae Waynes will be the third CB selected
- Both Randy Gregory and Shane Ray will not be selected in the first round
- P.J. Williams slides to Round 4 or later
What say you, readers? Let's hear your bold predictions for this year's NFL Draft.