Fellow ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. sees the draft playing out a little differently for the Lions in his most recent 4.0 Mock draft, released Thursday on ESPN.com.
Kiper has BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah going second overall to Jacksonville.
He predicts the Lions will select Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner at No. 5, even with Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher still on the board in his scenario.
"The Lions can plug a leaky pass defense in two ways," Kiper wrote on ESPN.com. "They could target a needed pass-rusher here, or they could go after the best cornerback in the draft if he's available. If Ansah is off the board, Detroit can sprint to the podium with the assurance that it has upgraded at cornerback, which is the second-biggest need for this team.
"Milliner is ready to start and succeed early, and defensive line depth in this draft should have the Lions confident they can add pass-rushing value in Round 2. That pick might have the Philly faithful scratching their heads, but it would set up an interesting scenario for the Lions."
Kiper has the Lions filling their void at defensive end in the second round, with the selection of Florida State's Bjoern Werner.
Mock drafts are fun for the fans and certainly do a good job of keeping people informed on the top talent available and getting people excited for the draft later this month. None of them, however, are ever 100 percent accurate.
That’s the fun part about the weeks leading up to the draft. The speculation is almost as entertaining as the draft itself.
I don’t see eye-to-eye with Kiper taking Milliner over Fisher, but that’s what makes the draft fun – everyone seems to be an expert at this time of year.