Road to the Draft

O'HARA'S MOCK 20 2.0: Pre-Combine picks

Posted Feb 26, 2018

Mike O'Hara predicts who the Lions will take with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2018 draft.

Quarterbacks aren’t high on the Detroit Lions’ list of priorities in this year’s draft, but they will have more than a passing interest in what teams drafting ahead of them do --- and don’t do -- to fill their needs at the position.

My second mock draft of 2018 – Mock 20-2.0 – reflects the unusual combination of high demand and high supply of quarterbacks, and the impact on who the Lions will take with the 20th pick in the first round on April 26.

As the player evaluation process ramps up at the annual Combine testing and workouts in Indianapolis this week, quarterbacks are certain to drive speculation all the way to the draft.

For the Lions, and other teams set at quarterback, the quarterback draft class will have a trickle-down effect. Every quarterback drafted ahead of the Lions leaves one more player available at a position of need.

Following is my pre-Combine Mock 20-2.0. Changes are noted from my first mock draft, along with the impact – if any – quarterbacks have on each team’s pick.

In Mock 20-1.0, I had the Lions taking defensive lineman Maurice Hurst of Michigan, who would be a solid pick for the Lions and fill a need.

As always, feel free to disagree.

1. Browns (0-16): Not an easy call for new GM John Dorsey. The best player in the draft is a running back, but QB need is obvious.

Pick: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State.

Original pick: QB Sam Darnold, Southern Cal.

QB influence:  Browns fill QB need three picks later at No. 4, or with a free agent.

2. Giants (3-13): Another new GM (Dave Gettleman) has to decide when to build for the future.

Pick: QB Sam Darnold, Southern Cal.

Original pick: QB Josh Allen, UCLA.

QB influence:  Whoever comes in, now is the time to look to the future.

3. Colts (4-12): New head coach Frank Reich inherits a QB dilemma -- among other problems – because of Andrew Luck’s injury history.

Pick: DE Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: Big question is whether to skip a QB and hope Andrew Luck will be back from a shoulder injury.

4. Browns (from Texans): They have their runner. Take the thrower.

Pick: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA.

Original pick: Barkley.

QB influence: Desperate need. 

5. Broncos (5-11): They’ve made the postseason once and missed it seven times in the last 12 years without Peyton Manning at QB.

Pick: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: Desperate need.

6. Jets (5-11): Buy a quarterback, then draft for defense.

Pick: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: Cap space and willingness to spend makes Jets favorites to sign Kirk Cousins.

7. Bucs (5-11): Too early to draft a guard – except this one. Power and athleticism.

Pick: G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame.

Original pick: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State.

QB influence: Protect the one you have. Jameis Winston was sacked 20 times in the last five games. 

8. Bears (5-11): John Fox, fired after three losing seasons and a 14-34 won-loss record, said he inherited a mess. It’s still a major cleanup project.

Pick: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: They drafted Mitchell Trubisky second overall last year.

(Note: Raiders and 49ers are tied for the 9-10 picks. The order will be decided by a coin flip at the Combine.)

9. Raiders (6-10): Adding to the defense should let them rebound, but not to a 12-4 season like 2016.

Pick: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: None.

10. 49ers (6-10): There’s a lot of sentiment for the 49ers and Raiders to draft players at the same position. Why not?

Pick: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech.

Original pick: OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma.

QB influence: None. Trading for Jimmy Garropolo during the season and signing him to a long-term contract means the 49ers aren’t shopping in the QB department.

11. Dolphins (6-10): Offensive line is a priority, and they have their choice of tackles.

Pick: OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma.

Original pick: G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame.

QB influence: Wait till next year. 

12. Bengals (7-9):Consensus is they need to protect the QB, help the run game.

Pick: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: Backup A.J. McCarron being declared a free agent creates need for a backup.

13. Redskins (7-9): Acquiring Alex Smith lets them look at an athletic pass rusher to contend in the NFC East.

Pick: DE Marcus Davenport, Texas-San Antonio.

Original pick: S Derwin James, Florida State.

QB influence: My opinion: Alex Smith is an upgrade over Cousins, and settled the position for the next two to three years.

14. Packers (7-9): Missing the playoffs for the first time in nine years has head coach Mike McCarthy on the hot seat. The Packers’ flaws, including the secondary, were exposed without Aaron Rodgers.

Pick: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State.

Original pick: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa.

QB influence: With Rodgers out, lack of backup depth was exposed.

15. Cardinals (8-8): The good news is that Larry Fitzgerald is returning for a 15th season. Carson Palmer’s retirement means they need to find a new QB. There’s a playmaker on the board.

Pick: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: Immediate need.

16. Baltimore Ravens (9-7): The choice is between receiver and offensive line. Joe Flacco would appreciate either – or both.

Pick: OT Connor Williams, Texas.

Original pick: WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M.

QB influence: Protection for Flacco, who has to produce.

17. Chargers (9-7): It won’t take much for last year’s strong finish to carryover and make the Chargers contenders. An inside force on defense helps.

Pick: DT Vita Vea, Washington.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: None.

18. Seahawks (9-7): Choice between protecting QB Russell Wilson or patching aging defense. Defense wins.

Pick: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa.

Original pick: OT Connor Williams, Texas.

QB influence: Wilson gets protection in free agency or later in the draft.

19. Dallas Cowboys (9-7): Regardless of what happens with Dez Bryant, there’s a need for a speed receiver.

Pick: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU.

Original pick: No change.

QB influence: Another asset for QB Dak Prescott.

20. Detroit Lions (9-7): Four primary factors that make an impact on this pick:

1. Ziggy Ansah: Free-agent pass rushers get a lot of money. You might as well give it to your own player – with the franchise tag or a multi-year deal -- who has proven he can get to the QB and defend the run.

2. Haloti NgataHe can still dominate the interior at times, and he can play in any front. He’s a presence on the field and in the locker room.

3. Kerry Hyder’s health. If he has recovered from the Achilles tendon injury that put him out for the season, it will add depth to the defensive line’s rotation.

4. Position depth: If the need is relatively even at two positions, first fill the position that has the least depth first. 

Pick: DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan. He was a productive four-year player at Michigan who can give the Lions immediate help as an athletic, durable defender who can play inside and on the edge in multiple systems.

Original pick: No change.

First-round option: A lot of running backs in this year’s draft class would help improve the Lions’ weakest area, and it’s been proven that quality backs can come in every round. Last year’s draft was a prime example of that. Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt were third-round picks who were major factors for the Saints and Chiefs.

Position depth this year allows the Lions to get a quality back after the first round.

QB influence: None. Backup depth might come with a late-round pick or free agency.