2016 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions Pre-Combine Seven-Round Mock

By Jason Fletcher

The Detroit Lions entered the 2015 season with a ton of optimism after finishing 2014 with an 11-5 record and making the playoffs as a Wild Card. Unfortunately, that optimism was short-lived as they lost their first five games of the season and finished 7-9 despite some improved play in the second half. There are a number of key positions, especially on defense, that will need to be addressed in the 2016 NFL Draft for the Lions to return to the playoffs.

Here’s a full seven-round mock draft I did for the Lions using Fanspeak’s mock draft simulator.

2016 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions Pre-Combine Seven-Round Mock
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Round 1, No. 16 Overall: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama

Round 1, No. 16 Overall: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama Credit: Getty Images
The Lions have already let starting middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch know that they plan on releasing him, which opens a spot for Ragland. He's one of the best leaders in this draft and could help the Lions' defense become one of the best.

Round 1, No. 16 Overall: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama

The Lions have already let starting middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch know that they plan on releasing him, which opens a spot for Ragland. He's one of the best leaders in this draft and could help the Lions' defense become one of the best.

Round 2, No. 46 Overall: WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State

Round 2, No. 46 Overall: WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State Credit: Getty Images
With Calvin Johnson leaning towards retirement, Golden Tate is the only starting-caliber receiver left on the Lions' roster. Adding a guy like Thomas would definitely help lessen the blow of Megatron's departure.

Round 2, No. 46 Overall: WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State

With Calvin Johnson leaning towards retirement, Golden Tate is the only starting-caliber receiver left on the Lions' roster. Adding a guy like Thomas would definitely help lessen the blow of Megatron's departure.

Round 3, No. 96 Overall: S Karl Joseph, West Virginia

Round 3, No. 96 Overall: S Karl Joseph, West Virginia Credit: Getty Images
Starting strong safety James Ihedigbo and backup free safety Isa Abdul-Quddus are both free agents. Although Joseph is coming off of a torn ACL, he's a game-changer in the defensive backfield.

Round 3, No. 96 Overall: S Karl Joseph, West Virginia

Starting strong safety James Ihedigbo and backup free safety Isa Abdul-Quddus are both free agents. Although Joseph is coming off of a torn ACL, he's a game-changer in the defensive backfield.

Round 4, No. 112 Overall: DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State

Round 4, No. 112 Overall: DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State Credit: Getty Images
The Lions will be losing three of their top four defensive tackles to free agency -- including starters Tyrunn Walker and Haloti Ngata. As a defensive tackle, Hargrave recorded 29.5 sacks over his final two seasons in FCS.

Round 4, No. 112 Overall: DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State

The Lions will be losing three of their top four defensive tackles to free agency -- including starters Tyrunn Walker and Haloti Ngata. As a defensive tackle, Hargrave recorded 29.5 sacks over his final two seasons in FCS.

Round 5, No. 151 Overall: DT Matt Ioannidis, Temple

Round 5, No. 151 Overall: DT Matt Ioannidis, Temple Credit: Getty Images
With the Lions' holes at defensive tackle, drafting more than one would be beneficial. Ioannidis was one of the stars of the Senior Bowl and could find playing time with the Lions if he ends up in the Motor City.

Round 5, No. 151 Overall: DT Matt Ioannidis, Temple

With the Lions' holes at defensive tackle, drafting more than one would be beneficial. Ioannidis was one of the stars of the Senior Bowl and could find playing time with the Lions if he ends up in the Motor City.

Round 5, No. 169 Overall: CB Rashard Robinson, LSU

Round 5, No. 169 Overall: CB Rashard Robinson, LSU Credit: Getty Images
The Lions got great play out of young corners Darius Slay, Quandre Diggs and Nevin Lawson in 2015, but Robinson just has too much value at this spot to pass on. He has the talent to be a lock-down corner if he keeps his head on straight.

Round 5, No. 169 Overall: CB Rashard Robinson, LSU

The Lions got great play out of young corners Darius Slay, Quandre Diggs and Nevin Lawson in 2015, but Robinson just has too much value at this spot to pass on. He has the talent to be a lock-down corner if he keeps his head on straight.

Round 5, No. 177 Overall: DE Ronald Blair, Appalachian State

Round 5, No. 177 Overall: DE Ronald Blair, Appalachian State Credit: Getty Images
Jason Jones and Darryl Tapp are both free agents this offseason which leaves a hole opposite of Ziggy Ansah. Although Blair comes from a small school, he's more than capable of contributing in his rookie year for the Lions.

Round 5, No. 177 Overall: DE Ronald Blair, Appalachian State

Jason Jones and Darryl Tapp are both free agents this offseason which leaves a hole opposite of Ziggy Ansah. Although Blair comes from a small school, he's more than capable of contributing in his rookie year for the Lions.

Round 6, No. 194 Overall: OLB Antwione Williams, Georgia Southern

Round 6, No. 194 Overall: OLB Antwione Williams, Georgia Southern Credit: Getty Images
Starting linebacker Tahir Whitehead is a free agent and although Kyle Van Noy will likely get the first crack at the starting job, Williams would give the Lions solid depth at the position.

Round 6, No. 194 Overall: OLB Antwione Williams, Georgia Southern

Starting linebacker Tahir Whitehead is a free agent and although Kyle Van Noy will likely get the first crack at the starting job, Williams would give the Lions solid depth at the position.

Round 6, No. 205 Overall: Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech

Round 6, No. 205 Overall: Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech Credit: Getty Images
With their need for depth at defensive tackle, tripling up on defensive tackles wouldn't be out of the question for the Lions. Gotsis was a stout presence in the middle of Georgia Tech's defensive line, which was one of the best in the ACC.

Round 6, No. 205 Overall: Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech

With their need for depth at defensive tackle, tripling up on defensive tackles wouldn't be out of the question for the Lions. Gotsis was a stout presence in the middle of Georgia Tech's defensive line, which was one of the best in the ACC.

Round 7, No. 234 Overall: OT Brandon Shell, South Carolina

Round 7, No. 234 Overall: OT Brandon Shell, South Carolina Credit: Getty Images
Riley Reiff did a decent job at left tackle in 2015, but the Lions' offensive line as a whole allowed 44 sacks. Although Shell probably wouldn't see much playing time right away, he could be a project player for down the road.

Round 7, No. 234 Overall: OT Brandon Shell, South Carolina

Riley Reiff did a decent job at left tackle in 2015, but the Lions' offensive line as a whole allowed 44 sacks. Although Shell probably wouldn't see much playing time right away, he could be a project player for down the road.

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