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2019 NFL Mock Draft: 5 players the Lions could take in next year’s draft

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It’s never too early for another mock draft. (It’s totally too early.)

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, NFL fans just can’t get enough mock drafts, even hours after the ACTUAL NFL Draft just completed. Though we haven’t even really started to really dig into the Detroit Lions’ 2018 draft class, there is an insatiable desire to look ahead to next year’s draft.

I’m not insane enough to start working on a 2019 NFL Mock Draft myself, but luckily there are several troubling souls out there that have already done the heavy lifting for us. Here is a sampling of who the Lions are already taking in 2019 mock drafts.

Chat Sports (Tom Downey)

Pick 18: EDGE Joe Jackson, Miami

(Draft order based on Over/Under win totals)

The Lions need more pass rush, especially if they let Ziggy Ansah leave. Jackson is one of several great Miami Hurricanes defenders.

SEC Country (Connor Riley)

Pick 12: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

(Draft order based on Bovada Sports odds)

SEC Country doesn’t provide any reasoning for the pick, but Derrick Brown is a budding defender who finished the 2017 season (his first as a starter) with 57 tackles, 9.5 TFLs and 3.0 sacks. As part of the 2016 college recruiting class, Brown was the ninth-ranked prospect, just behind Ohio State defender Nick Bosa.

Bleacher Report (Richard Janvrin)

Pick 15: RB Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma

(Draft order based on ESPN’s Mike Clay 2018 projections)

Janvrin doesn’t explain his pick, and I’m not going to try to, either. I know LeGarrette Blount is on a one-year deal and Ameer Abdullah is unlikely to be back in 2019 (if he even makes it into the 2018 season), but this pick makes no sense.

Anderson was one of the best running backs in college football last year, especially towards the end of the season. He finished with 1,442 total yards and 18 touchdowns, and just capped off a great season with an impressive performance in the Rose Bowl: 26 rushes, 201 yards and 2 touchdowns.

But the Lions just drafted Kerryon Johnson. There is very little chance they add another back with their first-round pick next year.

Yardbarker (Seth Trachtman)

Pick 12: CB Andraez Williams, LSU

Considered the elite corner of next year’s class, Williams had six interceptions in his freshman season at LSU. He’s a great fit for press coverage, standing at 6-2.

Walter Football

Pick 11: DE/DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama

(Draft order was completely random)

Despite nabbing Alabama DE/DT Da’Shawn Hand in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Walter Football has the Lions going right back to that well in 2019.

Raekwon Davis had a dominant performance in the national championship to cap off his excellent 2017 season in which he logged 8.5 sacks.

Overall

Mock drafts are all over the place this year, though there’s a small focus on defensive line talent. That’s not all that surprising, given Detroit largely ignored that need this offseason, especially at edge. With Ezekiel Ansah potentially off the team next year, it would certainly make sense for Detroit to look at that position in 2019, even if history tells us that edge rusher may not be a priority for this team.

If you’re wondering the accuracy rates for year-early mock drafts, last year’s version wasn’t all that far off. Here’s a look at five players mocked to the Lions a year ago:

  • EDGE Arden Key
  • DE Sam Hubbard
  • RB Royce Freeman
  • EDGE Arden Key
  • RB Derrius Guice

So while none of those picks landed in Detroit, several were mocked to the Lions as recent as a week ago. These mocks correctly predicted some of Detroit’s bigger needs, but failed to find the right players.

Obviously, “way-too-early” mocks are purely in existence for entertainment purposes, but they may not be quite as inaccurate as they seem.