Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The 2015 Detroit Lions Draft (Mock Scenarios)
The 2015 NFL draft is starting tomorrow night (or if you are reading this on Thursday, it starts tonight). So how will they actually do, who will they actually select? No one really has any idea. In fact, the Lions themselves have mocked it multiple times to be prepared for however the draft may fall yet by sitting at pick number 23 they won't have hit on the correct one even now... there are just too many scenarios that could play out, not just 23, since someone could (and likely will) trade into the first round above them to really throw a wrench into it. The only scenario I hope they skipped out of was trading up, I fail to see how giving away picks can make you a better team if you are trying to build your team through the draft, which the Lions are supposedly trying to do.
Since the Lions do not know who they will pick yet it's nigh on impossible for me to do it for them. But I will try anyway, because it's fun. Because I have all this time into it anyway so why not. Because, who knows, maybe I'm even right! So first I resist all temptation to move up in the draft to target a player, then when on the clock I listen to all offers to see if anyone else is crazy enough to want to move up to be able to get a good deal and trade down, garnering more picks. If there is no solid (or better) offer I make the selection... and that would be:
RT/G/LT La'el Collins from LSU. He's the 14th ranked player on my board and still available because of a police investigation that the police have stated does not include him as a suspect (heard they wanted him for maternity evaluation). He chose to leave Chicago and his one chance in life of being on TV for the draft to do what the police requested of him. Between what the police stated, how he handled this matter, and all previous contact with him most doubts are squashed and the selection is made. Now of course that's what I would do if he was still undrafted, what the Lions actually do is possibly another matter, the top 5 possibilities here are (of course, this is in my opinion):
RB Melvin (Mel) Gordon - Wisconsin
DT Arik Armstead - Oregon
DT Eddie Goldman - Florida State
OT T.J. Clemmings - Pittsburgh
RB Todd Gurley - Georgia
Mainly because these 3 will already be gone:
DT Malcom Brown - Texas
WR DeVante Parker - Louisville
OT La'el Collins - LSU
and these two are not on the contact list, of course that could mean we just missed them or that the Lions didn't want to tip anyone off by being caught contacting them:
C Cameron Erving - Florida State
OT Ereck Flowers - Miami (Fla.)
Why is it important to be on the contact list? Because in the past most draft picks were, not always, but most of the time.
Any of these options will make the team better. Some even fill an important need. All could easily find a roster spot. So any of them are indeed possible unless there is a trade down, and even then some of them are still possible.
Okay, now it's Friday and round 2 begins. Assuming someone that will play on the offensive line was taken on Thursday night then in the 2nd round we can look at all positions other then that. My selection for the Lions, if the phones don't ring, would now be:
DT Michael Bennett - Ohio State. Ranked 52nd on my big board, fills a definite need, is unlikely to have his equal be available later in the draft, and is ranked as a possible first round option by some of the scouts. In other words, he would play a lot of snaps during his rookie year while he learns the NFL game.
Who else might the Lions select instead, or in case Michael is already on another team? The contact list and my big board would include these players:
DT Jordan Phillips - Oklahoma
DE Preston Smith - Mississippi State
OT D.J. Humphries - Florida
DT Carl Davis - Iowa
DE Nate Orchard - Utah
RB Jay Ajayi - Boise State
CB/S Quinten Rollins - Miami (Ohio)
CB/S P.J. Williams - Florida State
WR Devin Smith - Ohio State
WR Devin Funchess - Michigan
WR Nelson Agholor - Southern California
QB Brett Hundley - UCLA
RB Duke Johnson - Miami (Fla.)
RB Ameer Abdullah - Nebraska
RB Tevin Coleman - Indiana
OG Laken Tomlinson - Duke
Why so many names? The Lions did their due diligence on a lot of players because you never really know who will be available when they are on the clock... and you never know what kind of trade offers you may receive, not only in the first round but in round 2 as well... and because you don't know who you will get in the first round so you don't know what positions you need to still look at in round 2. Why so many running backs and wide receivers? Because sooner or later one of which (or more) will be selected. Does that mean they will in fact go offense again this round? No. Does that mean they won't? No. This selection will not be based on the previous one so much as making sure there is a roster spot for the pick. If you drafted a RT in round 1 you aren't going to take a RT in round 2; but might take a guard, or a RB, or a WR, or whomever. The above players might be available during round 2 and they are on the contact list and that is why I have shown them here. I would take DT Michael Bennett if he's still on the board, I'm hopeful the Lions would too, but that remains to be seen. Now if the Lions did take a DT in round 1 then I would change my selection in round 2 to OL D.J. Humphries, assuming he was not yet taken.
On to round 3... the Lions may have addressed the trenches with their first two picks and they can't really expect their 3rd round pick to be a starter in his rookie year UNLESS he plays guard, or will split RB duties, or will be a backup WR and also the kick returner. So if he's available (and I truly hope he is but probably won't be) my selection would be:
WR Tyler Lockett - Kansas State. If he's still undrafted when the Lions pick I fully expect this to be their selection as it would be mine. However, it's a long way for Tyler to last so the other options now are:
RB Jeremy Langford - Michigan State
C Reese Dismukes - Auburn
OG Ali Marpet - Hobart
OG Tre' Jackson - Florida State
RB David Johnson - Northern Iowa
WR Tre' McBride - William & Mary
CB Doran Grant - Ohio State
WR Justin Hardy - East Carolina
The Lions also have a number of DTs, DEs, FS, SS, OTs and others on their contact list, so if they went RB or WR or OG earlier then those names would come into play. I'm not going to list all of them here simply because I don't think it's going to happen that way... so I may have to scamper to fix this between Thursday night and Friday night if things don't go so well in round 1.
The Lions don't currently have a 4th round pick BUT they may pick one up via trade. It could be a player, a pick earlier in the draft, or even a 3rd rounder from 2016. IF they end up getting a 4th rounder then my pick would be:
RB Javorius (Buck) Allen - Southern California. He will drop in the draft as he's not considered an every down running back at this point in time, though he could develop into one. What he is is a pass blocking pass catching type RB... exactly what the Lions lost when they cut Reggie Bush. A backup to Riddick, or someone who can beat him out of his roster spot during camp. Someone who can get snaps in his rookie year. A co-starter. Now the Lions may not end up with a 4th round pick and may have to wait until round 5 for their next selection, it's possible Buck will last that long too... or any of these other players could end being a Lion, or even two of them should the Lions acquire an extra pick before round 6 starts.
CB Eric Rowe - Utah
CB Steven (Steve) Nelson - Oregon State
WR Tony Lippett - Michigan State
OG Jamil Douglas - Arizona State
OG Jeremiah Poutasi - Utah
WR Kenny Bell - Nebraska
WR Chris Conley - Georgia
RB Malcolm Brown - Texas
and once again there are a number of other names both on and off the contact list that I could add here but will wait until Friday night/Saturday noon to add after I see what the first 3 rounds bring.
Now we get to round 6, finally, sometime Saturday afternoon and for the Lions I select:
OG Ben Beckwith - Mississippi State. Big Ben is 6'4" tall and weights in at 317 pounds. Some other options the Lions may consider include those above who dropped into round 6 plus these names:
WR Titus Davis - Central Michigan
DT Louis Trinca-Pasat - Iowa
WR Jamarcus (JJ) Nelson - UAB
RB Marcus Murphy - Missouri
RB John Crockett - North Dakota State
QB Brandon Bridge - South Alabama
Now I got to admit, drafting a WR with the first name of Titus gives me the shivers but the guy shouldn't be punished for what his parents named him. Also, QB Brandon Bridge I fully expect will make it until after the draft as an undrafted free agent and still be signed by the Lions but they might not want to take that chance.
In the 7th round you usually don't expect to find a starter but there is one position that needs to be addressed on the team yet and a rookie could fill that starting role... so my pick if he's still on my board is:
TE/FB Jimmay Mundine - Kansas. Fullbacks tend to end up undrafted but I can see the Lions wanting to get a full slate of contributors out of this draft and this would do the job nicely. A few other options if he's gone are:
FB Jalston Fowler - Alabama
QB Brandon Bridge - South Alabama
S Brian Blechen - Utah
OLB/DE Marcus Rush - Michigan State
Then after the draft all of these names above are in play along with:
K Kyle Brindza (camp kicker)
G Antoine Everett
DT Angelo Blackson
WR/KR Kaelin Clay
So there you have it... my Lions mock and other possibilities based on my big board, the Lions roster needs, and the contact list. Just to summarize it for you, not by round but by selection:
1. RT/G/LT La'el Collins - LSU (or Clemings, or Erving, or Flowers or anyone OL)
2. DT Michael Bennett - Ohio State (or other DT)
3. WR Tyler Lockett - Kansas State (or other kick returner)
4. RB Javorius (Buck) Allen - Southern California (or other RB for the RBBC)
5. OG Ben Beckwith - Mississippi State (or other guard)
6. TE/FB Jimmay Mundine - Kansas (or other fullback)
and every single one of my picks would get playing time their rookie year... some of them significant playing time.
Now we wait to see what will really happen. Enjoy.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 10:23 PM