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Lions go linebacker in Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 1.0

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In Kiper’s first mock draft of this offseason, the Lions land the speedy linebacker from LSU.

2007 NFL Draft Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Mel Kiper released his first mock draft of the 2019 class this week, and the outcome was probably not what you would expect.

At No. 8, Kiper has the Lions taking LSU linebacker Devin White. White is a speedy and powerful linebacker who has drawn lots of comparisons to current Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis. In his mock, Kiper said:

This is a spot to watch for a pass-rusher, as the Lions could part ways with free agent Ezekiel Ansah. In fact, coach Matt Patricia could use improvements at every level of his defense. White is a fly-to-the-football linebacker with similar athletic traits as Detroit middle linebacker Jarrad Davis, who was taken in the first round in 2017. The two could form a stellar tandem, as both are three-down linebackers. White isn’t a true pass-rusher, but he makes plays in the backfield.

While Davis showed steady improvement, both he and White have a habit of biting on fakes and losing sight of ball carriers too easily when they attack gaps at the line of scrimmage. If the Lions were to go with a linebacker in the draft while faced with much more pressing needs, they’d need to go with someone who counteracts Davis’ faults, rather than matches them.

Before White was mocked at eight, picks one through seven saw Joey Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams, Greedy Williams, Jonah Williams, Dwayne Haskins, and Cody Ford go off the board.