The NFL season finally came to an end with a pretty ho-hum Super Bowl, and since
that game has firmly established the draft order from top to bottom we’re still waiting on a coin flip to determine the draft order, the floodgates have opened for mock drafts aplenty to be published.
First up this week, hailing from the Worldwide Leader and Scouts Inc., Mr. Todd McShay, ESPN’s 1b when it comes to all things NFL Draft. His mock drafts are available to those who fork out enough coin for an ESPN Insider subscription, and here at Pride Of Detroit, we give it back to you, the people.
McShay’s pick for the Lions at No. 21 is Derek Barnett, a name that hasn’t fallen out of the top-20 draftees in many mock drafts. Here is McShay’s rationale for the pick and how Barnett falls all the way to Detroit near the end of Day 1:
Barnett isn't expected to put up big numbers during workouts, which could cause him to fall a bit in between now and late April. But he plays with good discipline, a consistent motor and impressive physicality. His production in the SEC the past three years is insane, including 52 TFLs and 33 sacks. The Lions have needs at every level of the defense, but pass-rusher tops the list.
It’s been well-documented how Detroit has a need at defensive end. If you remember from a few of weeks ago, Mel Kiper Jr. of NFL Head Coach fame had the Lions selecting Alabama’s edge rusher Tim Williams with their first round pick, but McShay has the Lions passing on Williams in his mock draft 2.0. Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus and Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com had the Lions taking Solomon Thomas and Taco Charlton respectively, two players that were well off the board by the time Detroit was picking in McShay’s mock.
Speaking of NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, the second version of his mock draft landed as well—free of charge to you, the consumer—and it’s bound to be chum for the talking heads here in Detroit.
With the 21st selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jeremiah mocked University of Miami tight end David Njoku to the Lions:
GM Bob Quinn appreciates the benefits of having two athletic tight ends after spending so many years in New England.
With names like Solomon Thomas and Taco Charlton off the board in Jeremiah’s mock, he passes up McShay’s choice in Derek Barnett, as well as Alabama products Tim Williams and Cam Robinson—both of whom didn’t even find a spot in his first round.
What says you, POD community: How would you feel with either Derek Barnett or David Njoku in Honolulu Blue? Outrageous? Egregious? Preposterous? Or do you find either of the fits to be pretty, pretty, pretty good?