Road to the Draft

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Highlights from Todd McShay's conference call

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay released his third mock draft Wednesday. He has the Lions taking Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary with the No. 8 overall pick.

“The Lions need edge rushers with Ezekiel Ansah entering free agency,” McShay wrote. “Gary had a good week at the combine, showing his athleticism and explosiveness. A lack of production in college might cause him to fall out of the top five, but if he is coached properly, the talent and skill set are there to be a stellar disruptor.”

McShay’s mock draft is similar to the one NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah released this week. Jeremiah also has Detroit selecting Gary.

Gary checked in at 277 pounds at the Combine and ran 4.58-seconds in the 40-yard dash with a 38-inch vertical. He told reporters at the Combine he was the best player in the draft, and a versatile player upfront who could play just about anywhere.

“To be honest, I feel I’m more versatile,” Gary said of what sets him apart from the other pass rushers in this draft class. “I played base end, but you’re able to throw me aside to defensive tackle, I could work over a guard. I could stand up, rush off the edge. I could really do anything anybody wants me to be.”

Coinciding with the release of his mock draft, McShay also took part in a national conference call.

Here are some highlights from that call:

  • Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf impressed at the Combine with his 40 time (4.33) and vertical jump (40.5) at 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds, but his 3-cone drill (7.38) and 20-yard shuttle (4.5) were well below average. That will concern some teams about his short area quickness. McShay thinks teams will probably want to work on his flexibility. “You have to know what you’re getting with D.K.,” McShay said. “It’s very obvious what he does best. He runs the nine route and goes up and makes plays on the ball vertically as well as anyone in this class.”
  • Some of the talk surrounding Alabama tackle Jonah Williams post-combine is that his arm length of right around 33.5 inches is below what teams normally like in their tackles. McShay says there are tons of examples in the league of tackles with arms shorter than 34 inches having a ton of success. Williams can be one of those players, per McShay, particularly at right tackle, He also said if teams put Williams at guard he’ll do very well there.
  • This class is deeper at guard than it is at tackle, according to McShay, and teams looking for help on the interior of their offensive line can get quality players in the second, third and fourth rounds.
  • Devin White and Devin Bush are considered to be first-round picks as three-down linebackers. Who does McShay think are some Day 2 linebackers to keep an eye on? Alabama’s Mack Wilson, Clemson’s Tre Lamar, Notre Dame’s Drue Tranquill and Washington’s Ben Burr-Kirven.

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