MIKE O'HARA

Mike O'Hara mocks the top five in this week's Monday Countdown

Posted Mar 4, 2013

Fans are torn. Do the Detroit Lions draft defensive line, cornerback, offensive line, or another position with the No. 5 pick? Mike O'Hara offers his selection.

My first mock draft is really a Mock 5 draft. It's built for speed.

It gets to the point that concerns Detroit Lions fans most – which player they will take fifth overall on April 25.

A full mock draft will come later. For this week's Monday Countdown, Mock 5 picks the players who should be drafted by teams with the first five picks – the Chiefs, Jaguars, Raiders, Eagles and Lions.

There are a lot of positions and names to juggle in the process of picking the first five. Offensive tackle, pass-rusher and cornerback are the priority positions – for now. And players with names such as Ziggy, Tavon, Chance, Cordarelle and Barkevious are becoming better known.

Having said that, I see plain old Luke at the top of my Mock draft with Eric not far behind.

There are no ready-made stars in this year's draft. Last year, the likes of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III arrived at the Combine as stars. This year, the star search is on.

And at home here in Detroit, the lack of true marquee prospects will ignite a raging case of buyer's remorse for the rest of the first round no matter who the Lions take with the fifth pick. There will be players that Lions fans would love to see in a Honolulu blue and silver uniform.

Guess what? The Lions would like to have them, too, but the reality of the draft is that you can only take one player with each pick.

Here is my Mock 5. As always, feel free to disagree.
 
Luke Joeckel1. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs are rebuilding with retreads in the key positions. Andy Reid is the new head coach, fired after 14 years as head coach in Philly. The Chiefs cut a deal with the 49ers to acquire quarterback Alex Smith, who was drafted first overall by the Niners in 2005 but was beaten out in last year's Super Bowl run by Colin Kaepernick.

The Chiefs have some talent, but protecting the QB is a priority. Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M remains the top offensive tackle prospect, but he's gotten push from Eric Fisher of Central Michigan.

"I did have a chance to look at him, and I'll tell you, he's a pretty good football player," Reid said of Joeckel at the Combine.

Chiefs pick: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M.
 
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Another team with a new head coach – Gus Bradley, former defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks were fourth in defense last season. The Jaguars were 30th. The Seahawks had 36 sacks. The Jags had a league-low 20.

"Anybody that knows our scheme that we've incorporated, we like those rush-type people on the end," Bradley said at the Combine.

If he wants the Jags to be more like the Seahaws, that points to a pass-rusher – except the Seahawks also liked cornerbacks with size. And there's one available with speed – a sizzling 4.37 Combine time in the 40.

Jaguars pick: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama. He has enough size at 6-0, 201 pounds to go with his speed.
 
3. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have a quarterback issue – a pay cut for Carson Palmer, possibly more playing time for Terrelle Pryor. On NFL.com, Gil Brandt predicts they'll solve the problem by drafting Geno Smith of West Virginia.

I don't see it. The Raiders should build the guts of the defense, and they do it with a tackle who stands out as the best front seven defender in the draft.

Raiders pick: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida.
 
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Another team with a new head coach, Chip Kelly, who made his rep at Oregon. One of his college players, Dion Jordan, is a top 10 prospect who's one of a glut of pass-rushers.

"Dion's just a special guy in my heart," Kelly said at the Combine.

At Oregon, Kelly's teams practiced fast and played fast. He won't be able to replicate that in the pros, but he can't run any offense if his quarterback – Michael Vick or Nick Folkes – is flat on his back.

Eagles pick: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan. At left tackle, he'll either protect Vick's front side or Folkes' blind side, depending on whether Kelly plays a lefty or righty.

Dion Jordan5. Detroit Lions: This isn't the time to dwell on history, or how many times the Lions have drafted in the top 10 (this will be the ninth time since 2002, and the sixth in the top 5).

GM Martin Mayhew said two things at the Combine that bear remembering. The Lions need help everywhere on defense, and their draft picks have to play. They can't incubate in a backup role for a year, the way offensive tackle Riley Reiff did last year.

Part of the formula for deciding the Lions' pick is using process of elimination. Quarterback, receiver, tight end, defensive tackle and running back are out at No. 5.

An offensive tackle would be a solid pick if Smith is on the board, but that wouldn't provide immediate impact. And the coaching staff should develop some young tackles who've been waiting to play – Reiff, Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox.

No safety is worthy of being drafted that high. A linebacker would be someone who can convert to outside pass rusher – the way Cliff Avril did when he was taken in the third round in 2008.

If Milliner is on the board at No. 5, he warrants strong consideration. However, the issue is who contributes more – a pass-rusher or a cornerback? Whichever position is filled first in the draft has to be addressed later.

If the choice is a cornerback, the pick is easy. Milliner is the best in the draft, even with surgery to repair a labrum, and the technique in Alabama's defense that doesn't have cornerbacks backpedal.

If the choice is pass-rusher, there are four candidates.

Jarvis Jones of Georgia is a top five prospect, but the spinal stenosis condition that caused Southern Cal to refuse to let him play after his freshman year in 2009 is a giant red flag. Jones insists he's healthy.

Three other pass-rushers come in assorted packages.

Ziggy Ansah of Brigham Young is raw and new to football. He's a native of Ghana who didn't play football until he got to Brigham Young, and then only after he couldn't make it in basketball.

Dion Jordan of Oregon is a terrific athlete who switched from wide receiver to defense. He's a versatile outside linebacker, but the question is whether he can fill the pass-rush role the Lions' need. Jordan could be better suited to another team's scheme. He had 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2011. His numbers declined in 2012, to 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

In LSU's road win over Texas A&M, he had a sack and a tackle for loss on a defense that created five turnovers.

All three players had impressive workouts at the Combine.

Ansah ran 4.63 in the 40 and had a vertical jump of 34.5 inches.

Jordan ran faster (4.60) but didn't jump as high (32.5). And like Milliner, he has to recover from labrum surgery.

Mingo blew away the competition, with a 4.58 40 and a 37-inch vertical jump.

Lions pick: It's a process of elimination, and it starts with buyer's remorse.

Eric Fisher, Tavon Austin and Xavier Rhodes are all good players who can help the Lions.

The Lions need defensive help more than they do an offensive tackle.

Even at 174 pounds, Austin is a multiple threat – receiver, runner, return specialist – and he has speed to shred defenses.

Rhodes is a physical cornerback with more than enough speed. Austin and Rhodes both will be drafted somewhere after the middle of the first round. Odds are against either being on the board when the Lions make their second-round pick.

Milliner's a logical choice if he's on the board. Talent matches need. But so do the pass-rushers, and if the Lions don't get more heat on the quarterback it won't matter who plays in the secondary.

Ansah stood out at the Senior Bowl, but he's still raw.

Jones' injury history adds too much risk.

Jordan and Mingo are terrific athletics. I want to lean toward Mingo, and I might do that on April 25. But not today.

Even though he's recovering from labrum surgery, my Mock 5 pick for the Lions is Dion Jordan of Oregon.