By now you're probably mock drafted out. If you're like me, you looked at over 100 of these over the past two months and are just begging for the 2016 NFL Draft to finally start. But before that happens, let's look back on two mock drafts created by Pride Of Detroit: the national SB Nation mock draft and our own Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft.
As the acting general manager for the Lions in the SB Nation mock, I selected offensive tackle Taylor Decker in the first round and safety Jeremy Cash in the second.
Alex Reno was the Lions GM in the POD Community Mock Draft and nabbed defensive tackle Andrew Billings in the first and guard Cody Whitehair in the second.
Neither of us received passing marks from the Pride Of Detroit community. For me, the picks of Decker and Cash received an approval rating of 72% and 71% respectively. Reno fared a little worse with 63% for Billings and 54% for Whitehair.
But which draft class would you prefer now? Reno and I defend our picks:
I like Reno's draft of Billings and Whitehair, but I stand by my picks of Decker and Cash as the better solution to the Lions current problems. Granted, these picks are very much based on need and fit, but I really like the idea of Decker coming in and starting immediately at right tackle. He's also talented enough to switch over to the left side, should the Lions decide to move on Riley Reiff next year. Cash is also a great fit for the Lions' clear need for a strong safety.
As for Reno's draft, I like Billings a lot, but I truly think the Lions' need for defensive tackle is way overstated. Whitehair is an interesting pick, but I'm not sure exactly where he would fit into the Lions' plans right away. I'm not as convinced he can play tackle right away.
Let me start off by defending my picks. You may think Andrew Billings is just a project and only a two-down player, but that's where you're wrong. You see, the misconception with Billings is the assumption that he's just a run stuffer who isn't an "impact player" and will get taken off the field on third downs. But that's not necessarily true. Billings has continually shown improvements as a pass rusher and has the potential to turn into something truly special. As for Cody Whitehair, I see him as a starting right tackle for the Lions, with the potential to play center or guard if necessary. I don't care about the short arms or the lack of strength. The latter of which is easily correctable. Take a look at some of his film and you'll see why he's unlikely to make it to the Lions' second round pick.
Jeremy, you know I love you, man, but I don't know how I feel about that Jeremy Cash pick. I think his lack of athleticism and stiffness in coverage will push him down to the third or fourth round and teams will struggle to find a spot for him. I can't hate on the Taylor Decker pick, though. I nearly took him myself, but I'm admittedly more worried about the future of the defensive tackle position with Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker on short term deals and the lack of proven depth behind them.
Now it's your time for you to make your pick.