Mock draft season is in full swing and we’ve reached the portion of this season where absurdity is king. Teams have adjusted their boards after the NFL Combine and from pro days (the final pro days wrap up this week). That means that the media folks who have in roads to NFL decision makers are getting new information and in most cases running with every rumor they get. We’ve seen more new players added to first round mocks in the past week than we saw in the entire month of February through mid March. So I thought, why not? Let’s give a quick rundown of each of the picks and what the case for and against each is. Ranked in order of the most mocks to the least. Let’s rock and roll!
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan, mocked 48 times
For: A true closed end, the Lions need one opposite Ezekiel Ansah badly.
Against: A bit of a tweener, viewed more as a run stuffer than a pass rusher.
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple, mocked 20 times
For: An elite athlete who excelled at LB and DE, in coverage and rushing the passer.
Against: Another tweener, his fit in a traditional defense isn’t certain to be successful.
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State, mocked 19 times
For: Haloti Ngata is in his final year before retirement, McDowell is a great disruptor.
Against: Attitude and motivation concerns manifest on the field as motor issues.
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida, mocked 18 times
For: Flashed click and close ability as well as plus ball skills on tape.
Against: Measured horribly athletically, worse at his pro day, and has noted character issues.
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford, mocked 17 times
For: An elite, generational athlete with elite tape and top tier ability in every phase.
Against: He won’t be there at 21.
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri, mocked 16 times
For: He’s got a wicked spin move.
Against: Below average athlete who bombed the combine, poor scheme fit and run defender.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee, mocked 16 times
For: A fit in a traditional 4-3, Barnett shows great field awareness as a pass rusher.
Against: Below average athlete who bombed both combine and pro day measurements.
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington, mocked 15 times
For: Great tape for both man and zone schemes, ball skills and field awareness.
Against: Tore his achilles at his pro day, measured below average athletically.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, mocked 15 times
For: A highly touted speedster, the Lions run game struggled in 2015 and 2016.
Against: Three shoulder surgeries, multiple character concerns, fumbles and flubbed the combine.
Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida, mocked 14 times
For: Considered a disruptive penetrator for the Florida DL, he produced a bunch of sacks.
Against: Measured as a bottom tier athlete, tape is wildly inconsistent in every phase.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, mocked 14 times
For: A very good athlete with elite quickness and receiving skills, versatile in all phases.
Against: Redundancy to present RB stable, size may limit NFL durability.
Desmond King, FS, Iowa, mocked 13 times
For: Good ball skills and deep field coverage skills, can excel in zone coverages.
Against: Below average size, converting to safety from corner so much is projection.
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt, mocked 13 times
For: Very good athlete, good in coverage, excellent production at Vandy.
Against: Misses far more tackles than he ought to, Lions have showed little interest.
Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA, mocked 11 times
For: Elite speed at defensive end, one of the better pure pass rushers in this class.
Against: Drastically undersized at end, scheme fit isn’t certain. Shoulder surgery.
Jarrad Davis, LB, Flordia, mocked 10 times
For: Elite athlete with plus coverage skills and strong consistency.
Against: Durability concerns and most projections based on one year of production.
Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois, mocked 9 times
For: The Lions need a pass rusher to compliment Ansah and he is one.
Against: Only average athletically, not even the consensus best end on his team.
Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn, mocked 9 times
For: Top tier athlete who flashes elite bend coming off the edge.
Against: Durability concerns after injury shortened seasons makes it hard to project.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama, mocked 9 times
For: Great tackling ability and understanding of angles, strong coverage abilities.
Against: Multiple concussions and other injuries as well as character concerns post-combine.
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State, mocked 8 times
For: An elite athlete with plus coverage skills and tackling ability.
Against: Overshadowed by his more talented teammate, Conley often second fiddle.
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan, mocked 8 times
For: Flashes great athleticism on tape, superb hands and route running ability, exceptional YAC abilities.
Against: An ankle injury prevented any athletic testing, hasn’t healed yet.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama, mocked 8 times
For: Great athlete with elite press ability and physicality. Loves to hit people.
Against: Unknown scheme fit since Austin doesn’t press much, may convert to safety.
Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State, mocked 7 times
For: Above average athlete, good downhill thumper who flashed three down ability.
Against: Coverage ability is middling at best, not a transcendent talent.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, mocked 7 times
For: Elite athlete with excellent size and speed, flashes elite power on tape.
Against: Durability concerns for the past two seasons, played mostly under center.
Tim Williams, DE, Alabama, mocked 7 times
For: Good athlete and pass rushing specialist, opportunist who understands schemes.
Against: Various character flags including drug concerns, scheme fit and size may be issues.
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida, mocked 6 times
For: Flashed ball skills and tackling ability for Florida across from Teez Tabor.
Against: Erratic film at times and questionable long speed on deep routes.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC, mocked 5 times
For: Consensus top WR coming into the 2016 season, one of the youngest draftable players.
Against: Jack of all trades, master of none, projects more as a slot or possession receiver.
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC, mocked 5 times
For: Great athlete with elite return skills, Jackson has elite change of direction ability.
Against: Came out a year too early, coverage ability is raw and he lacks physicality.
Jabrill Peppers, SS?, Michigan, mocked 5 times
For: Elite athlete for a safety, okay at LB, elite return man, jack of all trades.
Against: Limited in coverage, which is important for a safety. Lacks a true position to project him.
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin, mocked 4 times
For: Top tier athleticism on tape, comes from storied OL program and looks the part.
Against: Hip injuries are a concern, Lions addressed OT in free agency, hasn’t been mocked since.
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama, mocked 4 times
For: Shows up big time on tape and often dominated multiple OL taking him on.
Against: Arthritis in both shoulders brings long-term concerns, may be taken too high.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson, mocked 4 times
For: Big play ability fighting for the ball in the air, he thrived in high profile moments.
Against: Lost all of 2015 with a serious neck injury, questionable speed.
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State, mocked 4 times
For: One of the best athletes at CB since 1999, top tier ball skills and tape.
Against: Will be gone in the top 5.
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama, mocked 4 times
For: Elite athlete, hands, route running, and blocking. Complete package.
Against: Will likely be long gone by 21, Lions have spent high draft capital on TE.
Obi Melifonwu, SS, UConn, mocked 4 times
For: Incredible athlete with awesome production at strong safety in every phase of defense.
Against: Mostly projection, has some apparent mental lapses leading to bad angles.
David Njoku, TE, Miami, mocked 4 times
For: Great athlete who flashed big play ability in a tough ACC conference.
Against: Drops too many passes, severely limited as a blocker, undersized at TE.
Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State, mocked 3 times
For: Strong technique and multiple pass rushing moves, flashes strong ball awareness.
Against: Appears slow and sluggish on tape, often fooled into overplaying his position.
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama, mocked 3 times
For: A good athlete who improved dramatically from 2015 to 2016.
Against: Lions addressed the position in free agency, has some character and injury concerns.
Jamal Adams, SS, LSU, mocked 2 times
For: Strong understanding of setting up himself to make tackles, good coverage ability.
Against: Technique lapses and he sometimes whiffs. May be long gone by 21st overall.
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU, mocked 2 times
For: Click and close ability is top notch as well as ball skills.
Against: Below average athletic metrics and didn’t show well at the combine, inconsistent tape, not physical for his size.
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan, mocked 2 times
For: Football awareness is top notch, often overcoming athletic limitations because of it.
Against: Limited athletically, exacerbated by small size. Severe character concderns after a domestic violence charge.
Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama, mocked 2 times
For: He played for Alabama. He’s a linebacker. Lions need a linebacker.
Against: Athleticism concerns were more than backed up by atrocious metrics, tape isn’t great.
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas, mocked 2 times
For: Elite size and speed combo. Excellent in pass protection.
Against: Inconsistent tape, often valued a round lower, a recent foot injury limited his combine work.
Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah, mocked 2 times
For: See Against
Against: Mocked very early, ended up not declaring.
Charles Walker, DT, Oklahoma, mocked 2 times
For: Came in hot to 2016 and was considered a top DT in this class.
Against: Ended 2016 cold and is considered largely a late-round pick. Poor athlete.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee, mocked 2 times
For: Good athletically with one cut skills and speed. Can catch and run well.
Against: Scheme fit is sketchy and tape is inconsistent for first-round hype.
Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky, mocked 2 times
For: Measured out great and is highly lauded for his play at left tackle for WKU.
Against: Short arms project him inside and he got thrashed at senior bowl practice pre injury.
John Ross, WR, Washington, Mocked 2 times
For: 4.22 speed is best in the NFL. He has the ability to break any play wide open.
Against: Also has the ability to break every play. Injury history too long to list here.
Lewis Neal, DE, LSU, mocked once
For: Preseason favorite coming into 2016, he was expected to break out for LSU.
Against: He didn’t.
Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU, mocked once
For: Preseason favorite, sometimes mocked ahead of JJSS, good athlete with plus hands.
Against: Horrible QB play limited any chance to shine at LSU, would be fully projection.
Eddie Jackson, FS, Alabama, mocked once
For: Praised for his football acumen, Jackson was expected to be a big part of Alabama defense in 2016.
Against: Injury knocked him out for 2016, is complete projection.
Justin Evans, SS/FS, Texas A&M, mocked once
For: Midfield ability and tackling made him a possible Quin replacement option early in the draft process.
Against: Mental lapses when scheme was complex, missed tackles an occasional nuisance.
Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma, mocked once
For: Expected to be the top corner coming out in 2017.
Against: Stayed in school.
Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa, mocked once
For: An interior pass rusher with elite snap timing ability.
Against: Measured terribly including all the areas pass rushers usually excel in. Poor tape overall.
Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan, mocked once
For: Elite athlete who flashed often on a strong Michigan defensive front.
Against: A tweener who is undersized at DT, Wormley was overshadowed by Taco Charlton and Rashan Gary.
Jordan Wilis, DE, Kansas State, mocked once
For: A PFF darling Willis measured out as a top tier athlete in nearly every area.
Against: Athleticism doesn’t often show on tape except in flashes, leaving much of the evaluation to projection