After months of waiting and anticipating, the 2017 NFL Draft is almost here. There are still a few hours left until we finally find out what the Lions are going to do with the 21st pick.
Until then, let's keep guessing! I polled the experts and their picks are as follows:
Tim Twentyman: Alabama LB Reuben Foster
I've been pretty consistent with this throughout the pre-draft process. Does he come with some baggage? Sure. But it isn't anything that overly concerns me. I thought the best description of Foster in one of the draft evaluations was when someone described him as a "heat-seeking missile hell bent on destruction." The Lions could use a few more players like that in their front seven on defense. I think he's a plug-and-play at any of the three linebacker spots on Day 1 and instantly makes the defense better.
Mike O'Hara: Temple LB Haason Reddick
He has elevated himself at every level of his career -- from walk-on safety, to an enormously productive starter, to an ascending prospect throughout the postseason evaluation process. He'd be a three-down player on a unit that had trouble getting three-and-outs.
Tori Petry: Reddick
The Lions need help at linebacker, and there may not be another player who has surged up draft boards this spring thanks to impressive performances at the Senior Bowl and combine like Reddick has. It's likely other teams have caught on to how talented the former walk-on is, so I don't expect him to last till 21.
Editor's Pick: Foster
Like Tim, I've had my eye on Foster all offseason. If recent character concerns drop him down to 21, and he passes GM Bob Quinn's inspection, I think the Lions' defense would be better off for it.
Twentyman: Florida LB Jarrad Davis
I don't think Foster or Reddick, the two top linebackers available in this draft, are still on the board when the Lions pick at 21. Davis is the next best thing at the position. He's an extremely clean prospect from a character standpoint, and he was impressive at his pro day last month. He ran the 40 in 4.56 seconds, had a 10'9'' broad jump and a very good 38.5 vertical at 6-foot-1, 238 pounds. He has the kind of athletic traits that should allow him to step in right away at the WILL and be a playmaker as a rookie.
O'Hara: Missouri DE Charles Harris
His rush skills off the edge will complement Ziggy Ansah and add to the rotation with Kerry Hyder. You have to love Harris' nickname of "Black Ice." You're in trouble before you see him.
It's not just because we share an alma mater. I think linebacker is the biggest need for the Lions, and Davis is an athletic, aggressive playmaker. If he's available at 21, I think he's the perfect match for Bob Quinn's desire to combine need with best-player-available..
Editor's Pick: Michigan DE Taco Charlton
As a Michigan fan I might be biased, but it makes sense too. Put him across the defensive line from Ziggy Ansah, and watch opposing quarterbacks squirm.