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Full Detroit Lions 2019 ‘Perfect’ NFL Mock Draft Vol. 2

Detroit Lions

The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is just about in the books, the prospect measurables are in, and it’s time to put together another mock draft based on the Detroit Lions current roster situation.

You are going to see a ton of mock drafts out there but it is ultra-important to remember that free agency has not even started and that will largely determine how NFL teams attack the NFL Draft.

That being said, the Lions biggest needs as we speak (in my opinion) rank as follows.

  1. Edge Rusher
  2. Cornerback
  3. Tight End
  4. Wide Receiver
  5. Running Back

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what the Detroit Lions 2019 ‘Perfect’ NFL Draft would look like.

Round 1, Pick 8

Ed Oliver (DL) Houston

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I have said for a long time that I would absolutely love for the Lions to take Michigan DL Rashan Gary with their first round pick but I honestly do not see him falling to No 8.

That being said, there are a plethora of talented players at the top of this draft and if the Lions can land Ed Oliver out of Houston, they will have done well for themselves.

From The Draft Network:

PROS: Ed Oliver is one of the most athletic interior defensive linemen I’ve ever scouted. Has movement skills and agility that are just off the charts. Makes plays away from his initial gap that are jaw-dropping. Range of a linebacker. First step to beat anyone. Explosive and sudden in all his movements, easily able to redirect and keep blockers off balance. Always plays low and leveraged, with elite pad level and hand placement to drive through opponents. Creates an insane push off the snap and typically re-sets the line of scrimmage. Power to bull rush and the quickness to win the edge. Excellent bend to turn tight corners to the quarterback. Can backdoor gaps and still make plays. Incredible motor and will chase down plays from everywhere. Never takes a play off. Gets in on stops other defensive tackles couldn’t dream of being a part of.

CONS: Cheats his assignment at times. Gets upfield in a hurry and can sometimes widen his gap as a result. Doesn’t have great length and will get chest-to-chest with opponents at times. Repertoire of moves could be deeper. Wins more with athletic ability and raw power than refined hand usage. Will spin to get off blocks at times, turning his back to the line of scrimmage. Rumors are he plays at sub-280, which could concern teams projecting him out against better/bigger competition.

Round 2, Pick 11 (43 overall)

Irv Smith Jr. (TE) Alabama

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The Detroit Lions absolutely must take a tight end early in the 2019 NFL draft but they absolutely should not use their No. 8 pick in the first round on one. What they should do is hold off into the second round and grab Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama.

Smith Jr. is a tight end who can make plays in the passing game

From The Draft Network:

Not many tight ends in college football can hold a candle to what Irv Smith did this season for Alabama. 710 yards, seven touchdowns and an average of 16.3 yards per catch are all eye-popping numbers which led to Smith wisely bolting for the NFL following the National Championship Game. There his athleticism, smooth routes and strong blocking skills should translate quickly into a versatile starting tight end.

While Smith may lack elite explosiveness, he still has the speed to win vertically as a flexed receiver while being one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft. The risk of drafting him is minimal, especially if he tests as well as expected. Smith may never be a top 2-3 tight end in the NFL, but he’s fully capable of being among the best in the next tier.

Round 3, Pick 25 (88 overall) — From Philadelphia

Justin Layne (CB) Michigan State

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The Lions currently have Darius Slay locking down one side of the field but after that, there is not much to call home about. Adding another formidable CB to the mix could work wonders for a Lions defense that absolutely must improve in 2019.

Enter Justin Layne out of Michigan State. Layne is long and he has the physical attributes to be a solid NFL cornerback. I honestly would not be surprised at all to see Layne move up into the second round, but if he slides to the third, the Lions should be all over him.

From Cover 1:

Strengths

  • Physical press corner who wins with aggressiveness
  • Long arms instantly stand out when watching him on film
  • Great ability to come up and help in run support. Has no issues sticking his nose into contact
  • Has ideal ball skills and wins with length
  • Jumps routes early and often with fluid footwork
  • Can pattern match and get in the hip pocket of receivers that aren’t true speedsters
  • Shows ideal flexibility when changing direction but still stiff in the hips

Weaknesses

  • Hip fluidity will be his biggest question mark when turning upfield
  • Long speed has been an issue; struggled against true speedsters
  • Tends to get too grabby downfield, especially in the red zone

 

Round 4, Pick 8 (111 overall)

Andy Isabella (WR) UMass

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I have been all over Andy Isabella since Senior Bowl week started and the rest of the nation has hopped on the bandwagon. One of Bob Quinn’s biggest jobs this offseason will be to replace Golden Tate and Isabella is the man for the job. Not only his he extremely fast but he runs efficient routes that allow him to get the separation he needs. There is no doubt in my mind that Isabella would be the perfect weapon for Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ offense. The only problem is that rather than waiting until the 5th Round, the Lions will likely have to take him in the fourth since the hype is high.

At the NFL Combine, Isabella showed that he has elite speed as he turned in a 4.31 40-yard dash time.

From The Draft Network:

Andy Isabella is a player who has a much more prominent pathway to NFL success after the rule changes in recent seasons. A diminutive, non-physical player, Isabella wins with quickness and thrives in space. His best role would be as a slot/depth option on a team that looks to space the field and isolate their athletes one on one. Passing systems like the ones in KC and SF come to mind as specific favorable fits.

 

Round 5, Pick 8 (146 overall)

Karan Higdon (RB) Michigan

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In 2018, the Lions used a 2nd round pick on Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson and other than a late-season injury, the move panned out beautifully. That being said, Lions GM Bob Quinn believes in keeping his RBs fresh and you can bet he will look at adding one in the draft.

Karan Higdon out of Michigan would be a beautiful addition to the Lions if he is available in the 5th round. He absolutely killed it at the NFL Scouting Combine and he has what it takes to have a nice NFL career.

From The Draft Network:

Karan Higdon will bring explosiveness to an NFL backfield. He projects most favorably to a gap/power rushing offense, as many of his chunk plays at the college level came behind such concepts. Higdon shows some nice patience pressing through the LOS and his second level acceleration will enable him to create gashes in the defense, but only if and when his line is able to create consistent creases and holes up front. Won’t grind for yards by himself.

 

Round 6, Pick 11 (184 overall)

T.J. Edwards (LB) Wisconsin

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When we start getting to the 6th and 7th rounds, the hope is to find a diamond in the rough and that is exactly what I believe LB T.J. Edwards out of Wisconsin could end up being.

Edwards is extremely smart on the football field and he rarely makes mental mistakes. Though he will have a tough time in pass coverage out of the gates, Edwards makes up for it with his tackling ability.

 

Round 6, Pick 32 (204 overall) — From New England 

Jordan Ta’amu (QB) Texas A&M

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Matthew Stafford is the Detroit Lions quarterback and he will be the Detroit Lions quarterback for the foreseeable future. As we speak, former Michigan State QB Connor Cook is penciled in as Stafford’s backup but you can bet that Bob Quinn will be looking for a developmental quarterback.

One quarterback who could slide to Day 3 is Jordan Ta’amu out of Ole Miss. Ta’amu may not have the perfect NFL build for an NFL QB but he is a high character guy who gets the job done on the field. Will Ta’amu be available in Round 6? Maybe. If he is, the Lions had better snag him immediately.

From The Draft Network:

In a league that covets quarterbacks with tools and character, it’s befuddling to me why Ta’amu is receiving zero attention while quarterbacks with all kinds of flaws are being billed as Round 1 candidates. I’m not suggesting we put Ta’amu in their conversation, I’m suggesting we put them into his conversation. And keep him in that conversation.

The odds of Ta’amu becoming a franchise quarterback are slim – like almost every other quarterback in this class. But if you’re looking for upside and a lot of the baseline traits needed to be a successful signal caller in the NFL, Ta’amu might be exactly what you need, and you might not need to spend more than a day three pick to get him.

 

Round 7, Pick 10 (224 overall)

Delvon Randall (S) Temple

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When we get down to the 7th Round of the NFL draft, we are really just throwing darts. No. 1, who knows which players will be available and No. 2, of those available players, which ones will the Lions have on their draft board. That being said, safety Delvon Randall is a guy the Lions could move on if he is still available when they make their first of two 7th Round picks.

From The Draft Network:

Size and strength are pro-ready. Has shown the ability to man multiple roles in Temple secondary. Widely regarded within the program as a top-notch communicator and leader. Played through a myriad of injuries last season, which did seem to impact him on the field.

Mostly a sure tackler, shows good form to wrap and drive through contact. Sifts through trash well around the box in run defense. When he brings it, no issue getting runners on the ground 1v1. Run support is inconsistent, but angles and body control are typically excellent when closing from distance.

 

Round 7, Pick 15 (229 overall) — From Miami

Malik Gant (S) Marshall 

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With Glover Quin out of the picture, you can bet the Lions will look to add a safety in the draft and as you can see, I have them taking two!

Gant is an extremely physical player who would surely start off on special teams but I would be surprised if he eventually works himself into the mix if he is selected by the Lions.

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