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2017 NFL mock draft: Detroit Lions select Gareon Conley

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With the 21st pick in the POD Community Mock Draft, the Lions select...

The Detroit Lions are finally on the clock in the Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft. Alex Reno has been waiting patiently to make his selection and he is finally ready to turn in his card. Before we reveal the pick, here’s a look at the first 20 selection in the draft:

1. Cleveland Browns - DE Myles Garrett
2. San Francisco 49ers - CB Marshon Lattimore
3. Chicago Bears - S Malik Hooker
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Solomon Thomas
5. Tennessee Titans - S Jamal Adams
6. New York Jets - LB Reuben Foster
7. Los Angeles Chargers - DL Jonathan Allen
8. Carolina Panthers - DE Derek Barnett
9. Cincinnati Bengals - RB Leonard Fournette
10 Buffalo Bills - WR Corey Davis
11. New Orleans Saints - DE Taco Charlton
12. Cleveland Browns - TE O.J. Howard
13. Arizona Cardinals - CB Marlon Humphrey
14. Philadelphia Eagles - RB Christian McCaffrey
15. Indianapolis Colts - LB Haason Reddick
16. Baltimore Ravens - OT Ryan Ramczyk
17. Washington Redskins - CB Tre'Davious White
18. Tennessee Titans - WR Mike Williams
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - RB Dalvin Cook
20. Denver Broncos - OT Garett Bolles

We polled the readers and here’s who you would pick in this situation:

Poll

Who would you pick at 21st overall for the Lions in this draft?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    S Obi Melifonwu
    (106 votes)
  • 23%
    LB/S Jabrill Peppers
    (346 votes)
  • 7%
    CB Gareon Conley
    (116 votes)
  • 1%
    CB Teez Tabor
    (18 votes)
  • 17%
    LB Zach Cunningham
    (267 votes)
  • 24%
    LB T.J. Watt
    (371 votes)
  • 5%
    LB Tyus Bowser
    (87 votes)
  • 5%
    WR John Ross
    (87 votes)
  • 1%
    TE David Njoku
    (26 votes)
  • 5%
    Other (specify in comments)
    (80 votes)
1504 votes total Vote Now

But the choice is not up to you. It’s up to Alex Reno. With the 21st pick in the draft, the Detroit Lions have selected...

Cornerback Gareon Conley out of Ohio State. Here is Alex Reno’s explanation:

“I panicked a little once we got things rolling and I saw that the first eight picks of the draft were all defense. With linebacker, defensive end and cornerback being the top three needs I’d like to address, I was worried that I wouldn’t have the chance to take any of the top players at those respective positions. My best case scenario would have obviously been for Reuben Foster or Haason Reddick to be available, but both of those guys went in the top-15 picks.

Next, I looked to the trenches for some pass rushing help. I was admittedly surprised to see Derek Barnett selected at No. 8 overall and was expecting him to be available by the time I was on the clock. With both Barnett and Taco gone, my options became limited. If it were possible in this mock, I’d have had my war room frantically calling teams picking at the back end of Round 1 to try and trade down.

In the end, I decided to choose between T.J. Watt, Gareon Conley, Obi Melifonwu and Tyus Bowser. Zach Cunningham and Jabrill Peppers are both hot names among Lions fans, but I do not believe they are first round talents, and do not see Peppers as a good fit in Detroit’s scheme. Of those four prospects, I decided to go with Conley and have him ranked the highest (No. 11 overall) on my board. I was shocked to see him available with three CBs off the board, because to me, Conley is the best corner not named Marshon Lattimore and leaves a fairly sizeable gap between him and the next guy.

Conley had a dominating year for the Buckeyes, allowing just 14 receptions on 43 targets for a QB rating of 13.6 as an outside cornerback (25.4 as a slot corner). Like his counterpart, Marshon Lattimore, Conley has impeccable movement skills and manages to stay in the hip pocket of his receiver at all times. Not only is he an elite athlete with above average size and long arms, but a case could be made that he is the most pro-ready cornerback in this year’s class.

I believe Conley has what it takes to step in immediately and overthrow Nevin Lawson as the starting No. 2 opposite of Darius Slay. This would move Lawson back to his natural position as a slot corner, which, in turn, would create some needed depth at nickel. With Day 1 in the books, the Lions have now upgraded their secondary immensely and look to continue their focus on defense on Day 2.”

Poll

Do you approve of this pick?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Yes
    (1200 votes)
  • 33%
    No
    (593 votes)
1793 votes total Vote Now