With the 2016 NFL Draft nearly upon us, we are confident that you have probably read more than your fair share of mock drafts, each of which probably had the Detroit Lions selecting a different player. So, we thought it would be fun to create a mock draft for the Lions using only players from colleges in Michigan.
Believe it or not, as you will soon see, if the Lions were only to draft local products, they would end up with a pretty good draft grade.
Here we go!
Round 1 – Jack Conklin (OT) – Michigan State
If the Lions were to stick to the “All Local” rule they would almost certainly have to draft offensive tackle Jack Conklin in the first round. News flash: Conklin could very well end up being the Lions selection anyways.
Round 2 – Shilique Calhoun (DE/OLB) – Michigan State
Imagine a defensive line with Ziggy Ansah on one side and Shilique Calhoun on the other. If you did not get a bit excited then you’re not human. Last season, the Denver Broncos showed the world what can happen when a defense is able to put extreme pressure on an opposing quarterback, and the Lions should do their best to imitate them.
Round 3 – Willie Beavers (OG) – Western Michigan
Improving the offensive line has to be a top priority for the Lions moving forward and Willie Beavers out of Western Michigan is a player who could develop into a very good offensive tackle if given the time.
Round 4 – Daniel Braverman (WR) – Western Michigan
Calvin Johnson is gone and he is likely not coming back. Oh, one more thing, he cannot be replaced. That being said, the Lions will have to keep their eyes open for a receiver in the draft that could develop into a solid NFL player. This is a position where the Lions could select Aaron Burbridge out of Michigan State, but I’m starting to like Braverman more and more.
Round 5 (2 picks) – Matt Judon (DE/OLB) – GVSU, Graham Glasgow (OL) – Michigan
The Detroit Lions will have two picks in the fifth round and if they stay local, there should be two players available to them. Matt Judon out of Grand Valley State will be a productive player in the NFL, it may just take him a couple of years to get up to speed.
Graham Glasgow out of Michigan is a player who has proven to scouts during offseason workouts that he can play on an NFL offensive line. Guess what, the Lions can always use help in that area.
Round 6 (3 picks) – Willie Henry (DT) – Michigan, Jack Allen (OC) – Michigan State, Jake Rudock (QB) – Michigan
Willie Henry out of Michigan is a player who could come in and provide depth on the defensive line. Will he every be a dominant player in the NFL? Probably not, but he could definitely have a role on a team like the Lions.
Another position the Lions must improve is center. MSU’s Jack Allen will likely need some time to develop, but eventually could find himself starting in the NFL.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn has made it known that drafting a quarterback at least every couple of years is important in the NFL. Enter former Wolverine, Jake Rudock. Rudock had the opportunity to play under Jim Harbaugh and has been impressive in offseason workouts. Chances are high that he will begin as a backup and may remain that throughout his career, but I can think of another Michigan quarterback who was drafted low and things turned out pretty good for him.
Round 7 – Darius Jackson (RB) – Eastern Michigan
The Lions seem to have their running back stable pretty much set for the 2016 season, but that will not stop them from taking a flier if Darius Jackson is available in the 7th round. Jackson has the size and strength to play in the NFL and could be a productive player if he is put in the right situation.