Detroit Lions Full 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
Detroit Lions' Seven-Round Mock 1.0
The Detroit Lions had one of the more disappointing seasons in the franchise's history in 2013. No, they didn't go 0-16 once again, but the team was expected to be a legitimate playoff team and it flopped entirely when it came time to close out the division and put the title in the bag. However, the Lions lost six of their final seven games to drop to 7-9 on the year and lose out on a playoff berth.
It's really nothing new for Lions fans, but Detroit has yet another top-10 pick in this year's draft and it will either be a complete hit or absolute miss with the names of some players being mentioned at that slot. There are many needs that Detroit needs to fill on both sides of the ball, but it's looking more and more like it will go with a wide receiver or a cornerback in the first round.
You might be asking why the Lions need a wide out in the first round and the answer is very simple: protection for Calvin Johnson. Megatron has been on his own in the receiving corps for the better part of a few years for Detroit. How much longer can the superstar wide out take abuse as the No. 1 receiver?
Sure, the NFL draft isn't until May, but the talks of who they should take with each pick have begun to heat up and I thought this was the perfect time to give my take on who I think they should take with each of their six picks. They have a pick in each round but the fifth round because they traded that pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for wide out Mike Thomas in 2012.
Let's take a look at the 2014 seven-round mock for the Lions and let me know what you think. If you disagree, don't be shy to contact me and let me know.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Round(10): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Lions are in desperate need of a cornerback. Detroit's secondary had been spotty, at best, for the better part of Jim Schwartz's tenure. Dennard would provide the Lions with toughness, lockdown ability and physicality that fits well in the NFL. In fact, he was one of the best corners in the nation at Michigan State, winning the Jim Thorpe Award as well as being named a first-team All-American in 2013.
Second Round(13): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Brandin Cooks is the product of one of the best offenses in the nation from 2013. The Oregon State Beavers put up huge numbers and the junior wide out took advantage of the offensive outburst, grabbing 128 catches for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns. While he led the nation in receiving yards, he still has a lot to prove as he is only 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. However, he could be a solid possession receiver and could complement Megatron greatly.
Third Round(12): C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
As with the wide receiver position, the Lions will likely need to grab a tight end in this year's draft. Many have been speculating that Eric Ebron would be a good first-round selection, but taking a tight end that early is very risky. C.J. Fiedorowicz should fall to the Lions in the third round and they should consider picking him up since Brandon Pettigrew likely won't re-sign with Detroit. Pettigrew had a 11.53% drop rate and that is something that would improve with Fiedorowicz who is also a solid blocker.
Fourth Round(11): Ed Reynolds, FS, Stanford
Sure, Reynolds might be around in the sixth round for the Lions, but why take the risk of expecting him to be there and he gets chosen earlier? The Stanford free safety will fill in nicely for the departing Louis Delmas and although his speed isn't exactly top-notch, he can make up for that with his solid 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame and physicality. He's somewhat of a ballhawk as well, racking up six interceptions and three touchdowns as a junior in 2012.
Sixth Round(13): Bryan Stork, C, Florida State
If Stork falls to this spot, there's no way the Lions pass up on him. As a projected 5th/6th-round pick, the big center from the national champion Seminoles would be a great fit -- especially with Dominic Raiola nearing the end of his career. He would be the perfect get as he's not expected to be a starter right away and will need to learn how to use his perfect size and strength at the next level. Learning for a few years behind Raiola would do nothing but help Stork and the Lions.
Seventh Round(12): Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA
Shaq Evans' numbers took a step back in 2013 with UCLA. The Bruins' wide out caught just 47 passes for 709 yards and nine touchdowns after catching 60 passes for 877 yards and three scores the year before -- but don't let that scare you away. He is a projected sixth-round pick, but he could easily fall to the early seventh round and the Lions would jump at the opportunity to lock him up. He is not known as a quick wide out, but he can use his strength, size and toughness to bully cornerbacks and be a solid first-down type of receiver. I bet Megatron would love to add him and Cooks.