Love him or hate him, Mel Kiper mock drafts are always an interesting read. Kiper released his first mock draft for the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday. If you have an ESPN insider account, you can view the entire one-round mock here.
As for the pick for the Detroit Lions, Kiper went with need, targeting a defensive tackle to anchor the defense. Kiper landed on Jarran Reed as the man to bolster the middle of the defense. Here's his explanation:
"Detroit's defense began to round into form during the second half of the season, but they were a mess early on as they adjusted to life without Ndamukong Suh, Reed is a player who makes you better against the run right away. He plays with leverage, can wreck running lanes along the interior of the D-line, and frees up others to make plays."
Reed is a two-time starter for the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Reed's journey to Alabama is a fascinating one. He didn't receive any Division-I offers coming out of high school as a linebacker, so he switched to defensive tackle and after two years bolstering his resume at Hargrave Military College and East Mississippi Community College, the SEC came calling. After bouncing around commitments, Reed landed on Florida, but he didn't have enough credits to transfer and had to stick around junior college for another year. After receiving some advice from a former Alabama player, Reed joined Nick Saban with the Crimson Tide the following year.
Reed's time has been fairly dominant in Alabama. In just two seasons as a starter, he's collected 110 tackles and 11.0 tackles for loss. He was also named as an All-SEC honorable mention from the Associated Press his junior year and named to the second-team his senior year. But he comes along with the dreaded "character concerns" label. In 2014, Reed was arrested for DUI. He was suspended for fall practice but did not end up missing a game.
Overall, Reed definitely fills a role and has the talent to succeed. He specializes in stuffing the run, which the Lions struggled at during stretches of the 2015 season. But his character issues loom heavily and he may considered a bit of a reach this high in the draft.
Here's a look at his 2015 game against Tennessee:
What do you think of the pick?