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2016 NFL mock draft database: Lions projected to go defense

Our pre-free agency mock draft database finds little consensus among experts.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer to free agency and the NFL draft, the Detroit Lions roster needs become more into focus. With that in mind, let's take a look at the latest mock drafts around the world and what experts believe the Lions will do.

Site Name Date Round 1 (Pick No. 16) Round 2 (Pick No. 46)
Pride Of Detroit Chris Lemieux 1/26 DT Andrew Billings (Baylor)
SB Nation Dan Kadar 2/9 WR Michael Thomas (Ohio State)
CBS Sports Dane Brugler 2/21 WR Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi)
CBS Sports Pete Prisco 2/21 WR Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi)
CBS Sports Rob Rang 2/21 DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson)
Draft Breakdown Jeff Risdon 2/8 DT Andrew Billings (Baylor)
Draft Breakdown Matt LaPan 2/18 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) CB William Jackson III (Houston)
Draft Countdown Scott Wright 1/26 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama)
Draft King Lou Pickney 2/11 DT DeForest Buckner (Oregon)
Draft Tek Computer simulation 2/19 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) S Jeremy Cash (Duke)
ESPN Mel Kiper 2/18 DT Jarran Reed (Alabama)
ESPN Todd McShay 2/3 LB Reggie Ragland (Alabama)
Football's Future Robert Davis 2/10 LB Reggie Ragland (Alabama)
NFL Draft Days Frank Williams 2/9 DE Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss)
NFL Draft Days James Lee
2/2 DE Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss) Bucky Brooks 1/17 DT Jarran Reed (Alabama) Chad Reuter 2/17 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) Daniel Jeremiah 2/16 OT Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) Lance Zierlein 2/18 OT Jack Conklin (Michigan State)
Rotoworld Josh Norris 1/5 DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson)
SideLion Report Kent Platte 1/14 DT Andrew Billings (Baylor) OT Spencer Drango (Baylor)
Sports Illustrated Chris Burke 2/10 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) LB Kentrell Brothers (Missouri) Matthew Fairburn 1/19 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)
Walter Football Charlie Campbell 2/21 DT Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) DE Carl Nassib (Penn State)
Walter Football Walter Cherepinsky 2/17 DT Andrew Billings (Baylor) WR Kenny Lawler (California)

Positions (first round)

  • Defensive tackle - 10
  • Offensive tackle - 5
  • Defensive end - 4
  • Wide receiver - 3
  • Linebacker - 3

Just like at the same time last year, a majority of experts are slotting a defensive tackle to the Lions. This makes a lot of sense, as defensive tackle is one of the biggest weaknesses on the Lions' roster. Offensive tackle is another big need for Detroit, especially on the right side of the line, and one-fifth of the mocks above have the Lions selecting a tackle in the first round.

There's also a small section of the mock draft community that is opening up to the idea of the Lions going wide receiver in the first round. This undoubtedly has to do with the news that Calvin Johnson is likely retiring.

Player (first round)

  • DT Andrew Billings (Baylor) - 4
  • DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) - 3
  • OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) - 3
  • WR Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi) - 2
  • DT Jarran Reed (Alabama) - 2
  • LB Reggie Ragland (Alabama) - 2
  • DE Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss) - 2
  • DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson) - 2
  • WR Michael Thomas (Ohio State) - 1
  • DT DeForest Buckner (Oregon) - 1
  • OT Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) - 1
  • OT Jack Conklin (Michigan State) - 1
  • DT Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) - 1

There isn't much consensus among mock drafts as to which defensive tackle the Lions are targeting. Experts are split between Baylor's Andrew Billings and Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson. DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Rankins were also listed as options at the position.

Taylor Decker -- out of Ohio State -- seems like the popular choice among offensive tackles for pick 16. While the Crimson Tide's Jarran Reed and Reggie Ragland were also common selections among mock drafts.

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