Rosters are made up in late April when NFL teams make their draft picks for real, but this is the time of year to dream big in mock drafts.
In the 2017 Media Mock--Dream Pick 1.0, our pool of radio, TV and internet personalities make their dream picks for the player they think would help the Detroit Lions the most with the 21st pick in the first round.
The common thread that runs through the group is that defense is the No. 1 priority, with one exception – a dynamic running back.
My dream pick for the Lions in my Mock 21-1.0 a couple weeks ago was Dalvin Cook, the running back from Florida State.
Some members in our pool of expert draftniks agree with me. Here are their picks. Feel free to agree or disagree, and remember – they'll be back to project their set-in-stone for the Lions' first-round pick on April 28.
Until then, it's fair game to dream big.
**Dan Miller, Lions' play-by-play voice, Fox2 sports director
Dream Pick:DE Taco Charlton, Michigan. "Tempted to go with Dalvin Cook, but the Lions really need to start making some quarterbacks uncomfortable. A healthy Ziggy Ansah will help to improve the pass rush, but he needs help. Improve up front, and the entire defense gets better. Charlton is a freakish athlete who has steadily improved, and the thought of him working with Kris Kocurek is one I think would make a nice reality in Allen Park.
Steve Courtney, Sports Director, Lions pre-game host, WJR-760
Dream Pick: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama. "Linebacker is a position of concern. Foster could be a perfect fit – great size and athleticism, and oh, the dude Loves to hit!!!"
Ken Brown, Mitch Albom Show, Lions pre-game show, WJR-760
Dream Pick: Safety Jabrill Peppers, Michigan: "He can play safety for you starting off. He can play nickel on passing downs. Plus, he can play a little linebacker at times. He's a more physical Tyrann Mathieu (Arizona Cardinals safety)."
Scott "The Gator" Anderson, cohost 97.1-FM, The Ticket
Dream Pick: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama: "At 21, the pick should be used on the best defensive playmaker available. The Lions may need to add two starting linebackers, and some would say three given the uncertainty of DeAndre Levy's health and production. Just about every year, I have clamored for them to select a linebacker only to be let down time and again. This year has to be the year, much like when Fink finally beat the Stomach during the hot dog eating contest in "Meatballs." The dream pick is Foster. He's a tackling machine who is athletic enough to cover and rush the quarterback. He fits the mold for exactly what they need, a playmaker on the defensive side with a great pedigree and worth trading up for -- unless he posts something unsavory on Instagram right before the draft that causes him to fall. But that could never happen!"
Doug Karsch, cohost, 97.1-FM, The Ticket
Dream Pick: Safety Malik Hooker, Ohio State. "This is the dream pick, right? Ideally, the Malik Hooker surgery (labrum and hernia) news drops him in the first round and the Lions can take the playmaker in the secondary they have needed for years. Hooker is not going to be able to work out for teams prior to the draft, allowing for teams to fall in love with someone else. Recently one unnamed NFL scout told NJ.com he doesn't think Hooker is a first-round talent. I disagree. He is reported to have been injured prior to the Michigan game, and he was great against the Wolverines. He had seven picks in 13 games and returned three of them for TD's. Yes please."
Matt Shepard, morning host WDFN-1130-AM
Dream Pick: DL Jonathan Allen, Alabama. "In a perfect world I'd take Allen. I think he's the best player in the draft. He is a plug-and-play every down defensive lineman, and the Lions are in desperate need of athletic defensive playmakers. I'd take Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, too. Both will be long gone by 21."
**Devin Scilian, news anchor WDIV-Channel 4
View photos of the 2016 Detroit Lions rookies.
Dream pick: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama. "For me, the most stunning stat of the 2016 season is that no Detroit linebacker was able to conjure a single sack, a forced fumble or an interception. (Chris Spielman, find a helmet.) So while I would be happy with an elite defensive end or cornerback, I'd start fixing the linebacker corps. Reuben Foster is the dream pick. He'll be long gone by pick 21, but February is for dreaming. I'll be rational in the spring."
Rico Beard, Spartan Beat host, 92.1-FM, Lansing
Dream pick: RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State. "My dream pick for the Lions would be Cook. Cook would immediately bolster the Lions' running game, which was close to last in the league. He would also provide the Home Run threat that the Lions have missed since the retirement of Jahvid Best. He would provide the balance that this offense definitely needs."
Jennifer Hammond, Fox2 sports reporter
Dream Pick: DE/OLB Takkarist McKinney, UCLA. "It seems like every week getting to the QB was a key for the Lions – yet they never could. A pass-rushing freak – as tenacious as this kid – would help change that."
Jeff Risdon, RealGM draft analyst, USA Today wire
Dream pick: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama. "My realistic dream pick, he does everything you can ask of a linebacker at a very high level, and he's smart and well coached. He never has to leave the field."
Jamie Samuelson, morning host 97.1-The Ticket.
Dream Pick: RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State: "I normally don't chase first-round runners, but some are special and Cook is one of those runners. I don't expect him to be there, but I've seen at least one mock draft where he is there. So I'm holding out hope."