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2016 NFL mock draft database: Taylor Decker most popular pick for Lions

Most mock drafts have the Lions selecting defense, but the offensive tackle from Ohio State is the most popular individual selected.

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

NFL Draft week is upon us! The draft sits just days away and we're still left with little clue as to what the Detroit Lions will do with their first round pick on Thursday. Detroit has been mocked just about every position outside of quarterback and running back, and the individual names seem to change by the day. But with writers furiously making last-minute changes to their mocks, let's take one last look around the webiverse to see who people are predicting the Lions to land in the first round.

Site Name Date Round 1 (Pick No. 16) Round 2 (Pick No. 46)
Pride Of Detroit (POD mock) Alex Reno 4/22 DT Andrew Billings (Baylor) OG Cody Whitehair (Kansas State)
Pride Of Detroit (SBN mock) Jeremy Reisman 4/1 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) S Jeremy Cash (Duke)
SB Nation Dan Kadar 4/18 CB William Jackson III (Houston)
CBS Sports Dane Brugler 4/21 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)
CBS Sports Pete Prisco 4/20 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)
CBS Sports Rob Rang 4/21 DE Kevin Dodd (Clemson
CBS Sports Will Brinson 4/20 WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss)
CBS Sports Jared Dubin 4/21 DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson)
Draft Breakdown Chris Nicolaou 4/13 WR Josh Doctson (TCU)
Draft Breakdown Emanuele Addondi 4/21 WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss)
Draft Countdown Scott Wright 3/31 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) DT Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech)
Draft King Lou Pickney 4/20 WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss)
Detroit Free Press Dave Birkett 4/23 DT Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) S Vonn Bell (Ohio State)
Draft Tek Computer simulation 4/22 OT Jack Conklin (Michigan State) S Vonn Bell (Ohio State)
ESPN Mel Kiper 4/18 DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson) OT Shon Coleman (Auburn)
ESPN Todd McShay 4/21 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama)
Football's Future Robert Davis 4/19 CB Eli Apple (Ohio State)
NFL Draft Days Frank Williams 4/21 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)
NFL Draft Days James Lee
4/21 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) Charles Davis 4/20 DE Kevin Dodd (Clemson) Charley Casserly 4/21 OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) Curtis Conway 4/21 DT Jarran Reed (Alabama) Chad Reuter 4/21 DT Andrew Billings (Baylor) Daniel Jeremiah 4/19 C Ryan Kelly (Alabama) Lance Zierlein 4/23 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama)
SideLion Report Cal Folsom 4/7 DE Kevin Dodd (Clemson) CB Xavien Howard (Baylor)
Sports Illustrated Chris Burke 4/21 DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) OT Jason Spriggs (Indiana)
Walter Football Charlie Campbell 4/21 DT Jarran Reed (Alabama) OT Jason Spriggs (Indiana)
Walter Football Walter Cherepinsky 4/24 DT Jarran Reed (Alabama) S Vonn Bell (Ohio State)

Positions (first round)

  • Defensive tackle - 10 (up 4)
  • Offensive tackle - 7 (down 2)
  • Defensive end - 5 (up 2)
  • Wide receiver - 4 (no change)
  • Cornerback - 2 (up 1)
  • Center - 1 (up 1)
  • Linebacker - 0 (down 1)

Line play dominates this round of mock drafts, with 22 of 29 mocks landing a lineman to Detroit. What's interesting is the positional breakdown is quite different than it was after the first wave of free agency in our post-free agency draft database. Instead, the breakdown looks a lot like the how it did prior to free agency in our March mock draft database.

Defensive tackle is again the overwhelming priority, with offensive tackle and defensive end trailing behind. Gone are the days of Reggie Ragland mocks, as no expert decided to slot the Lions with a linebacker.

Wide receiver remains a popular pick, despite the Lions spending a significant amount of cap resources on Marvin Jones and adding Jeremy Kerley for positional depth.

Player (first round)

  • OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State) - 6 (up 3)
  • DT A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) - 4 (up 3)
  • DT Jarran Reed (Alabama) - 3 (up 2)
  • WR Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi) - 3 (down 1)
  • DE Kevin Dodd (Clemson) - 3 (up 2)
  • DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson) - 2 (up 1)
  • DT Andrew Billings (Baylor) - 2 (up 1)
  • DT Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) - 1 (down 2)
  • OT Jack Conklin (Michigan State) - 1 (down 4)
  • CB Eli Apple (Ohio State) - 1 (no change)
  • CB William Jackson III (Houston) - 1 (up 1)
  • WR Josh Doctson (TCU) - 1 (up 1)
  • C Ryan Kelly (Alabama) - 1 (up 1)

The Jack Conklin trajectory of this draft has been fascinating to watch. In the earliest mocks, hardly anyone had Conklin as a worthy option for Detroit at 16. However, the post-free agency database had Conklin as the most popular pick to the Lions. Now, only one mock has the Michigan State tackle headed to Detroit... because at this stage in mock season, he's typically off the board by the time the Lions are on the clock.

Instead, it's back aboard the Taylor Decker train, who outnumbers every other player by two selections. Decker has been a top three option in all of our mock draft databases this offseason and appears to be one of the favorites to land it Detroit at the moment.

On the defensive side, A'Shawn Robinson picked up steam as we near the finish line. Again, he was a popular selection in our pre-free agency database, but for whatever reason only landed on one mock draft after free agency. His teammate, Jarran Reed, is also picking up some late momentum.

Overall, it's hard to make sense of any of this, well, nonsense. Picks fluctuate with little rationale other than to ruffle some virtual feathers during the three long months that lead up to the draft. The Lions could go with just about anyone on these mock drafts, and it wouldn't surprise anyone if they went completely off the board. Luckily, we only have to wait a few more days to find out the answer.

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