This week Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay did a dueling mock draft (Insider required). That’s essentially a fancy name for two side-by-side two-round mock drafts. The two ESPN experts ended up picking the exact same positions for the Detroit Lions in both rounds, but two very different players. Which analyst made the better picks? You decide. Check it out:
First round: DE Charles Harris - Missouri
Harris has been a popular pick for the Lions among plenty of national mock drafters. Kiper slotted Harris to Detroit in his third mock draft a few weeks ago, as did Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo.
However, many local guys—ourselves included—think Harris isn’t a great fit in Detroit. His size and lack of athleticism doesn’t make him a great fit as 4-3 defensive end. He projects to be much more suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Harris does excel at rushing the passer and has a wicked spin move, but all of his experience in college came from the outside linebacker position. His lack of size and inability to shed and/or overpower offensive linemen make him a tough fit as a closed defensive end. However, both Kiper and PFF claim that Harris has 3-4 LB/4-3 DE versatility.
Second round: CB Quincy Wilson - Florida
We haven’t ventured far beyond the second round much here at Pride Of Detroit, so lets talk about Quincy Wilson. Wilson has the size and physical nature that most NFL teams are looking for these days. At 6-foot-1, Wilson is not afraid to get physical with opposing receivers. He’s not exactly the most speedy or athletic defender, but he more than makes up with it with physical play and above average play recognition.
In Detroit, he’d immediately come in and contend for the cornerback spot opposite Darius Slay, currently occupied by Nevin Lawson. That position could certainly use an upgrade.
First round: DE Takkarist McKinley - UCLA
McShay also decided to add a pass rusher for Detroit in the first round. McKinley is an interesting choice, as he, too, is a tweener between a 3-4 linebacker and a 4-3 defensive end. He’s about the same size as Harris, but plays a little more physical than him. His long arms allow him to be a little more active in the run game, but his value still comes primarily as a pass rusher.
For what it’s worth, both McShay and Kiper made their selections with Taco Charlton still on the board.
Second round: CB Chidobe Awuzie - Colorado
Again, McShay mirrors Kiper by selecting a cornerback in the second round. Awuzie is a much different corner than Wilson, however. Awuzie has better speed and is a decent overall athlete. Some project him as a better fit in the slot, but his anticipation skills and decent reads make him a versatile option.
He only had three career interceptions in his four year career at Colorado (Wilson had six in three years), but Awuzie did impress with 11 passes defended in his senior year. With the Lions, he, too, could compete for the outside No. 2 role, but he also would provide some depth as a slot corner.
It’s interesting to see both Kiper and McShay follow the same pattern of drafting for the Lions. I don’t particularly like either defensive end they slotted to the Lions, and it’s a bit curious that neither chose a linebacker in the first two rounds. However, top talents like Haason Reddick and Reuben Foster were long gone by the time the Lions were on the clock.
As for the cornerback selections, Wilson seems like the better fit in Detroit, but both would be a welcome upgrade to a secondary looking for stability. Overall, I’d still pick McShay’s over Kiper’s just because I think Harris is a really, really bad fit in Detroit.
Whose two-round mock do you like better?
This poll is closed
Kiper (Charles Harris, Quincy Wilson)
McShay (Takkarist McKinley, Chidobe Awuzie)