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2017 NFL mock draft tracker: Experts selecting edge rushers for Lions

We’ve charted over 250 mock drafts. Here’s who folks think the Lions will take with the 21st overall pick.

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions need a running back, their run game stunk in 2015. The team needs a wide receiver, they didn’t replace Calvin Johnson in 2016. They need a cornerback and have needed one since 1976. Around and around it goes: before the NFL season starts, as it’s in full swing and when it comes to an end. Draft season never ends, however, and the mock drafts have kept coming as the season wore on, accelerating after the Super Bowl. We have been keeping track of every mock draft we can to keep you updated with who the big names are and who is trending in which direction. As of this writing, we have over 260 mock drafts and counting and it’s time to show where it all stands.

Changing trend lines

When we started tracking this, wide receiver and running back dominated mock drafts. It was early in the season, so the breakout of Marvin Jones had just started while Golden Tate was floundering. Ameer Abdullah wasn’t viewed as a RB1, then he went down with injury. As the season wore on, the team’s historically awful pass defense manifested itself and the cornerbacks flooded mock drafts. Eleven different corners were mocked to the Lions in the first round alone. CB built a huge lead that didn’t look like it would be beaten. When the season drew to a close, however, a tidal wave of pass rushers started getting mocked to the team. Sixteen different DE and DT were mocked to the Lions, with two local products leading the way.

Mocks by position

Positions Count 264 Percentage
Positions Count 264 Percentage
DE 71 26.89%
CB 65 24.62%
DL 40 15.15%
LB 30 11.36%
RB 31 11.74%
WR 15 5.68%
SS 4 1.52%
OT 5 1.89%
TE 2 0.76%
FS 1 0.38%
QB 0 0.00%
OG 0 0.00%
OC 0 0.00%
OL 0 0.00%
2017 Mock Draft Tracker by position

When need meets geography

Eventually the Detroit Lions need for a pass rusher would trump everything, and we would begin being inundated with them in mocks. When top tier talent at a position of need happens to also play a short distance away, folks quickly put two and two together. The top mocked player to the Lions as of this writing is Taco Charlton, the talented pass rusher from Michigan. Behind him is Michigan State’s Malik McDowell. Other local players have been mocked to the team as well. Corey Davis from Western Michigan is still considered the top wide receiver by many. Jourdan Lewis was mocked to the Lions a couple times in the first, but has been mocked more often to the team in the second and third rounds. Chris Wormley, another defensive lineman from Michigan, was mocked once in the first round, but it was solely based on Senior Bowl players. He has been mocked many times to the Lions in the second and third rounds.

Mocks by player

Player Name Position Count 264
Player Name Position Count 264
Taco Charlton DE 19
Malik McDowell DL 16
Solomon Thomas DE 15
Teez Tabor CB 14
Desmond King CB 13
Sidney Jones CB 13
Caleb Brantley DL 12
Dalvin Cook RB 12
Christian McCaffrey RB 10
Charles Harris DE 10
Raekwon McMillan LB 7
Leonard Fournette RB 7
Carl Lawson DE 7
Zach Cunningham LB 7
Corey Davis WR 6
Jarrad Davis LB 6
Quincy Wilson CB 6
Dawuane Smoot DE 6
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR 5
Reuben Foster LB 5
Takkarist McKinley DE 5
Derek Barnett DE 5
Tim Williams LB 5
Jonathan Allen DL 4
Gareon Conley CB 4
Marshon Lattimore CB 4
Marlon Humphrey CB 4
Demarcus Walker DE 3
Mike Williams WR 2
Jamal Adams SS 2
Tre'Davious White CB 2
Jourdan Lewis CB 2
Adoree' Jackson CB 2
Ryan Ramczyk OT 2
Ryan Anderson LB 2
D'Onta Foreman RB 2
Lowell Lotuleilei DL 2
Charles Walker DL 2
Cam Robinson OT 2
Lewis Neal DE 1
Malachi Dupre WR 1
Eddie Jackson FS 1
Justin Evans FS 1
Jordan Thomas CB 1
Obi Melifonwu FS 1
O.J. Howard TE 1
Jaleel Johnson DL 1
David Njoku TE 1
Haason Reddick LB 1
John Ross WR 1
Chris Wormley DL 1
Players mocked to the Detroit Lions

A crazy ten of the 19 mock drafts with Taco Charlton have come out in just the past month, if you’re looking for your quick riser. Solomon Thomas, who used to dominate these rankings has dropped off a bit for the Lions mostly due to rising nearly to the top in draft rankings. In a recent poll of draft analysts, Thomas averaged fourth overall, behind only Myles Garrett and Jonathan Allen.

We will, of course, be keeping this up to date and report if there are any changes. Who are you looking forward to in the draft? The combine is quickly approaching, and it’ll be measurements time soon. Let us know in the comments who your favorite pick would be, or if you see someone you’d pound the table for who doesn’t appear on this list.