O'HARA'S MONDAY COUNTDOWN: The Consensus Mock Draft 1.0

Posted Mar 3, 2014

Mike O'Hara pools the results of 13 mock drafts from a range of well known sources to identify the top prospects in order, and which players have the best realistic chance to be on the board at No. 10

The Consensus Mock Draft 1.0 is not guaranteed to predict who the Lions will draft with the 10th pick on May 8, but it does show how analysts rate the top prospects in this year’s draft.

This week’s Monday Countdown is a compilation of mock drafts done after the Combine in Indianapolis. The result is as the name implies: Consensus Mock Draft 1.0 is the first consensus mock of the 2014 draft.

It pools the results of 13 mock drafts that come from a range of well known sources -- well known sources – ESPN, CBS, USA Today, Sporting News, SI.com, MMQB, NFL.com and the National Football Post among them. More than one analyst’s mock draft was used from some sources.

There was one stipulation: the mock draft had to be done after the Combine. That eliminated a handful of sources – including my own (Mock 10: 1.0) – which have not updated their mock drafts since the Combine.

The goal of Consensus Mock 1.0 is to identify the top prospects in order, and which players have the best realistic chance to be on the board when the Lions make the 10th pick.

Points were awarded for the first 10 picks in each mock draft on a reverse scale of 10 points for the projected No. 1 pick down to 1 point for No. 10.

Based on those standards, here is the Consensus Mock 10, with breakdowns following:

DE Jadeveon Clowney S. Carolina 118
OT Greg Robinson Auburn 93
QB Blake Bortles Central Fla. 91
QB Teddy Bridgewater Louisville 89
QB Johnny Manziel Texas A&M 82
LB Khalil Mack Buffalo 65
WR Sammy Watkins Clemson 69
OT Jake Matthews Texas A&M 42
LB Anthony Barr UCLA 21
LB C.J. Mosley Alabama 16

1. Why Clowney No. 1?: The easy answer is that he’s the best prospect in the draft. And that’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean Houston is going to use the No. 1 pick overall to take a pass-rusher ahead of a quarterback.

Clowney had the second most No. 1 votes with 5 behind Bortles, who had 6. No mock draft had Clowney going lower than third overall, and three had him going second to Atlanta after a trade with St. Louis that moved the Falcons up four spots.

2. Mosley to the Lions?: Based on the points, yes, and that would not be a bad pick. Mosley is the best inside linebacker in the draft, and he might be the most versatile linebacker in the draft after Mack. Barr got more points, but a lot of teams see him as an outside pass-rusher.

CJ MosleyLB CJ Mosley (Photo: AP Images)

3. Justin time?: Cornerback is a popular pick for the Lions in mock drafts, and Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State is the top-rated player at the position.  He did not get as many points as Mosley and finished out of the top 10, but eight mock drafts had him in the top 10 compared to four for Mosley.

Six mock drafts had Gilbert rated No. 10 – where the Lions pick.

Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State was the only other cornerback in the top 10 – with one vote for No. 10.

Free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama also got one vote for No. 10.

4. Wide receiver: No matter what the point totals say, upgrading the receiver position is the Lions’ biggest offseason priority.

Watkins is by far the most highly regarded receiver in the draft, and the point totals show that. He should be listed as an opening-day starter the second his name is called on May 8. He’s that good, and that ready to compete in the NFL.

Mike Evans of Texas A&M was the No. 2 receiver behind Watkins with 9 points, 60 behind Watkins. Three mock drafts had Evans going to Buffalo at No. 9 and three others to the Lions at No. 10.

5. One thing that can help the Lions get their man (whoever it is) at 10: A run on the quarterbacks, with Bortles, Bridgewater and Manziel all going in the first nine picks, would expand the talent pool for the Lions and teams around them that aren’t looking to draft a quarterback.

It also would help if an owner thinks his franchise – Browns, Raiders, Jaguars for example -- needs to make a splash to excite the fan base.

6. Lewan and the Lions: Two mock drafts had him at No. 10. Peter King was the first to cause a stir when he made Lewan No. 10 in his post-Combine mock in MMQB.

One man’s opinion: offensive tackle, kicker, punter, quarterback and running back are five positions where the Lions will not draft a player in the first round. Tight end might be No. 6.

7. Quarterback class: Bortles finished a solid No. 1 among the quarterbacks, even though one mock draft not only left him out of the top 10 but also out of the first round. That had to be an oversight.

Bridgewater was No. 1 in one mock  and was outside the top 5 in only two mocks. Manziel was No. 1 in one mock, but was left out of the top 10 in one mock. Derek Carr was in the top 10 in two mocks at No. 7 and No. 8 but not listed in the other 11.

8. Mock trades: The three mock drafts that projected trades in the top 10 all had the Falcons and Rams swapping spots. In all three, the Falcons take Clowney at No. 2, while the Rams take an offensive tackle at No. 6 – Robinson in two mocks, Matthews in the other.

9. Real trades: Lions GM Martin Mayhew has been an aggressive dealer in the draft. In 2010 he moved up into the first round to draft Jahvid Best after getting Ndamukong Suh second overall.

In 2011 he made a push to work a deal with the Cardinals to move up to No. 5 and draft Patrick Peterson, the best young cornerback in the league and a game-breaker in the return game.

10. My projection for May 8: The Lions get a receiver in the first round – somebody, somewhere.