Here's how the draft had gone before my pick:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
With the 16th overall pick, I chose offensive tackle Taylor Decker from Ohio State for the Detroit Lions. As I mention in the article, the way the cards fell for Detroit was almost ideal. While three offensive tackles are already off the board, only one defensive tackle (A'Shawn Robinson) and two defensive end (Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner) have been taken. The Lions could grab one of the many defensive tackles available or even Shaq Lawson and most of their fans would be rightfully happy.
But in the end, I thought Decker was the right pick for a lot of reasons. First, the Lions need to upgrade the right tackle position. Even with the recent addition of Geoff Schwartz, who has played right tackle before in the NFL, this should be one of Detroit's highest priorities (For transparency sake, however, I made this pick before the Schwartz signing).
With Conklin, Stanley and Tunsil already gone, the opportunity to grab a plug-and-play tackle was nearly gone for Detroit at 16. And while this may seem like a desperation grab for Detroit, I actually have Decker as a higher-rated tackle than Conklin and maybe even Stanley (So does our in-house draft expert Alex Reno).
That being said, the temptation to grab a defensive tackle was very high. Rankins, Reed and Andrew Billings were all considered (Robert Nkemdiche was not). But considering how deep this year's class is at defensive tackle, I decided I could potentially wait on upgrading the position. The Lions are actually doing okay with their defensive tackle depth and they have two capable starters with Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker.
Also not considered was Laquon Treadwell, who has become a popular name for Lions mock draft lately. I understand the inherent desire to go out and immediately replace Calvin Johnson, but grabbing a first-round receiver doesn't seem like a savvy move for a team that already went out and addressed the wide receiver position and has plenty of holes elsewhere.
Reggie Ragland would have made a fine pick here as well as Lawson, but in the end Decker fit a need and was the best pick given how the board has fallen. Decker is a ruthless blocker in the run game, something Detroit has been devoid of for too long. Decker's pass protection needs work, but he showed improvement as his college career progressed.
Decker would jump in and immediately start for the Lions at right tackle and he would give Detroit an option at left tackle, should Detroit decide to move on from Riley Reiff in 2017.