Road to the Draft

Presented by

Mike O’Hara hosts Media Mock Draft

You see their faces on TV and hear their voices on radio. And in some cases, it’s both. And once again, you get the chance to read their picks for who the Detroit Lions will take in the first round in our annual Media Mock Draft.

Our media mavens have a dream pick and a reality pick. Hopefully, some of them – even one of them – will be right.

Dan Miller, Lions play by play voice, WJBK-FOX2 sports director

Dream pick: DT Quinnen Williams of Alabama.

Lots of ways that you could go here if we are dreaming. Josh Allen or Nick Bosa would qualify as surprises if they fell, but I am going to Williams.

If we are measuring the value of a player by his proximity to the football, you can see where Williams has massive value. Watching him beat double teams on tape at ‘Bama was routine. The Lions would be loaded along the line. Matt Patricia would have a ball developing Williams, Harrison, Robinson, Flowers, Hand and Okwara all over the field.

Quinnen Williams’ potential is off the chart, and you’re talking about a three-down defensive tackle who can really get after the passer.

Reality pick: Edge Montez Sweat, Mississippi State.

This is a tough pick because the Lions have put themselves in a position to just follow their board. They aren’t set up and down the roster, but they don’t have to force anything because of positional need. Long way of saying “I have no idea here.” I have flipped back and forth between Brian Burns of Florida State and Sweat until I just ran out of time.

Give me Sweat. I have to think Patricia would love to have a guy with his athleticism, and the opportunity to maximize his potential. He provides another talented, long, athletic body up front, and Patricia can’t get enough of those.

I just want a defensive line that keeps people up at night. This pick moves them one step closer.

Steve Courtney, WJR-760AM sports director, Detroit Lions pregame, postgame host

Dream pick: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama.

Considered by some to the best overall player in the draft for a reason. He will be a VERY disruptive force in the league from Day One!!!!

Reality pick: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa.

Great offenses in the NFL, for the most part, have an effective tight end. The Lions need to be much better at the position, and Hockenson has the tools to be a great one!

View photos of NFL prospect T.J. Hockenson.

Ken Brown, WJR-760 Mitch Albom Show, Lions pregame show

Dream pick: DT Ed Oliver, Houston.

The next Aaron Donald. This is their second chance to do it right (after 2014).

Reality pick: Ed Oliver, Houston.

Drop weight and play linebacker. Remember ... Brian Urlacher was a safety in college.

Jennifer Hammond, WJBK-FOX2 reporter

Dream pick is Hammer’s reality pick: Edge Montez Sweat, Mississippi State.

Logic would suggest that the offensive line is the position the Lions would be most wise to target with the eighth pick in the first round. After all, your franchise QB needs to be protected, and running the ball remains the bread and butter of Matt Patricia’s offensive game plan.

I, however, am not interested in drafting for need, especially when you have a wealth of defensive talent at your fingertips that can create an immediate impact.

Montez Sweat has seen his stock slip in recent weeks because of a heart condition, giving the Lions a legitimate shot at snatching him up at eight.

Bottom line is this: He is a defensive anomaly with perhaps the most impressive skillset of any player available in this year’s draft.

For Matt Patricia, having a defensive front that plays “Balls Out” is not only a priority but a necessity that will make every aspect of the defense better. When you’ve got guys like Rivers, Mahomes, Rodgers and Cousins dotting your schedule, a menacing pass rush that comes at you from every direction, you can control the game.

Devin Scillian, WDIV-Channel 4 news anchor, musician

Dream pick: Call it a crisis of imagination, but I just can’t figure out a way for my dream pick to happen. The idea of DT Quinnen Williams of Alabama lining up inside next to Snacks makes me giddy. But unless absolute chaos breaks out at the top of the draft, I don’t see a path.

Reality pick: I expect the Lions to trade down – but if they don’t I think it’s TE T.J. Hockenson of Iowa, and I will not hate it. (By the end of last year, I was far more concerned about points FOR than points AGAINST.)

Matt Shepard, Detroit Tigers play by play voice

Dream pick: Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky.

I’ve said for a few years the Lions have needed to draft an edge rusher. Anyone who follows this annual media draft knows I’ve been a huge proponent of winning in the trenches.

Allen is not Khalil Mack, but he plays close to that skill set. He can win with power or quickness. The Lions need speed and athleticism against NFC North QBs like Mitchell Trubisky and Aaron Rodgers.

Reality pick: LB Devin White, LSU.

The NFL has trended toward backers like this. He’s fast, athletic and physical. I’d strongly consider TE T.J. Hockenson of Iowa. Would you like a guy like Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski or George Kittle? Yes, you would.

Sean Baligian, morning host WDFN-1130 AM; Detroit Lions pre and postgame

Dream pick: Trade down.

Not just once but maybe a couple times. For as often as we hear about training down, it rarely happens. This could be a possibility at No. 8 this year, and if you believe the scouts, there is a lot of value to be had in the 20-60 range – value that GM Bob Quinn could continue to use as he tries to build a franchise here the right way.

Reality pick: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan.

I know that many see Montez Sweat here, but I don’t see the fit.

Ryan Ermani, WJBK-FOX2 morning co-host, reporter

Dream pick: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma.

The blueprint to win in the NFL is simple: Have a Hall of Fame quarterback, or a young dynamic quarterback on a rookie deal. The Detroit Lions have neither right now. Murray can do it all and will lead the Arizona Cardinals to the playoffs – THIS SEASON.

Reality pick: Trade and take OL Jonah Williams, Alabama.

I don’t think the Lions will pick at No. 8. But with their first-round pick, as unsexy as it will be, I think they’ll go with another guard (after Frank Ragnow last year). Everyone will want to go defense if a top DE or LB is on the board, but they have to fix offensive line and go with a guard for back-to-back seasons – which initially fans will not be happy about.

View photos of NFL prospect Jonah Williams.

Doug Karsch, 97.1 The Ticket midday co-host

Dream pick: Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky.

I can dream, right? This guy is a perfect fit for the Lions. I honestly wouldn’t be mad if they traded up for him – and trading up goes against just about everything I believe.

Reality pick: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa.

A three-down tight end who can do it all. I believe there is a direct correlation between Matthew Stafford’s struggles last year and the lack of a legitimate threat from the tight end position. And while Eric Ebron had his shortcomings, he did get open. Additionally, Hockenson positively impacts the run game with his blocking skills.

Scott “The Gator” Anderson: 97.1 The Ticket midday cohost

Dream pick: Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky.

The dream pick has Allen slipping down five spots to the Lions’ laps. Make that lair. Strike that. Make that den. It would seem incredibly unlikely, but I never thought Reuben Foster would fall to the end of the first round.

Allen is the versatile edge rusher all teams covet, and a perfect complement to Trey Flowers.

Reality pick: OL Jonah Williams, Alabama.

I believe in building a team through the trenches, so why be distracted by shiny things like pass rushers or tight ends, when T. J. Lang’s replacement is there for the taking? Williams has been compared to the late Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg and future HOF member Joe Thomas. It works for me.

The ideal situation is to trade down and still get a stud. This year’s draft affords the Lions of that opportunity, provided they don’t trade down too far. There appears to be a lot of talent deep into the first round. It will be nice to see them take advantage of it.

Jeff Risdon, managing editor Lions Wire, ESPN 96.1 analyst

Dream pick: Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky.

Allen’s a perfect fit for what the Lions’ defense needs – an impact pass rusher from a stand-up position. He has the moves, strength and athleticism to be a special player, a double-digit sack artist who also plays the run pretty well. I love Houston DT Ed Oliver, too, but the vision on how he fits in Detroit isn’t as clear as it is with Allen.

Reality pick: Edge Montez Sweat, Mississippi State.

After his outstanding testing and dominant Senior Bowl week, it’s easy to see his upside. He can play with his hand in the dirt or standing up, and he attacks the backfield quite well with both power and speed. He fits the mold that Bob Quinn has shown in his first few drafts: Productive but incomplete prospect with high-end athletic upside at his position from a major conference. And he has high football character.

Related Content

Advertising