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MOCK DRAFT WATCH: How Combine results affect predictions for Lions

The NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis has concluded and teams have another piece of the evaluation puzzle on these draft prospects. The Combine is also an opportunity for media members and analysts to speak with team executives and coaches, and sometimes there's something they can learn as to what a team is thinking about a certain prospect or position group.

Here's a look at the most recent post-Combine mock drafts:

Lance Zierlein,

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 6)

Why: The sixth overall pick would seem like a ripe trade-in spot to get the last of the "big four" quarterbacks, but Detroit sits tight and grabs the ball hawking cornerback out of Illinois.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (No. 18)

Why: Let's go! The talented Longhorn back combines power and wiggle -- and he can have a similar impact on an offense to what we saw this past season from Josh Jacobs in Las Vegas. Baller move here, Brad Holmes!

Todd McShay, ESPN

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: At 6-1 and 197 pounds, Gonzalez confirmed the speed and explosion we saw on tape during the combine. He posted a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash and jumped 41.5 inches in the vertical and 11-foot-1 in the broad. And with four interceptions in 2022, he can make plays on the ball.

Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa (No. 18)

Why: While he never started a game at Iowa, he played a lot for the Hawkeyes, averaging 450 snaps per season over two years. And Van Ness turned that into seven sacks in each campaign. Add that production to an edge rush group that already includes 2022 picks Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston, and the Lions could be set to improve on the 39 sacks they generated in 2022 (tied for 18th). It was no surprise when Van Ness tested well in Indianapolis. He has the quickness, power and versatility to dominate in the NFL.

View photos of the running backs at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine

Nate Davis, USA Today

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: The football résumé of the All-Pac-12 performer, who had four INTs and seven passes defensed in 2022, was already tip-top. But Gonzalez – plenty big at 6-1, 197 pounds – showcased his explosive athleticism at the combine, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, posting a 41½-inch vertical leap and broad jumping 11 feet, 1 inch.

Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh (No. 18)

Why: When you think undersized Pitt interior D-linemen who live behind the line of scrimmage ... OK, OK, let's not saddle Kancey with the Aaron Donald comparison. But let's celebrate the 6-1, 281-pounder who dropped a 4.67-second 40 at the combine after posting 14½ sacks and 27½ TFLs for the Panthers over the past two years combined. Now imagine adding the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year to the middle of a Detroit defense featuring Aidan Hutchinson and all the opposing attention he merits on the edge.

Mike Sando, The Athletic

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: Two execs thought the Lions might prefer Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon for his competitive makeup if the team did decide to select a corner here. Two others thought Gonzalez would be the choice for his superior physical traits.

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: Christian Gonzalez seems to have cemented himself as this classes' best cornerback after his showing at the NFL Combine. He tested really well and showcased smooth athleticism during on-field drills -- and that's in addition to displaying his ball-hawking skills this past season at Oregon. The Lions need more defensive playmakers, and Gonzalez fits the bill.

Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson (No. 18)

Why: The No. 1 high school player in the country a few years ago didn't have his best season in 2022, but the Clemson product still has everything you want in a formidable interior disruptor. With the Lions releasing veteran Michael Brockers, and with John Cominsky and Isaiah Buggs set to become free agents, pairing Bryan Bresee with Aidan Hutchinson would ensure Detroit has a formidable defensive front.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Myles Murphy, DL, Clemson (No. 6)

Why: Myles Murphy turned 21 in early January, and while we'd like to see him play with more consistency ... he just turned 21 in early January. He has all the physical tools you look for in an elite edge defenders, and it's easy to see him in a few years being dominant. And that, in large part, is what makes him such an interesting prospect.

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland (No. 18)

Why: Maryland teammate and fellow CB Jakorian Bennett got much of the buzz in the fall, but Banks put together the type of season that will land you in the first-round conversation. He's a fluid athlete who is also a big, physical corner who can match up with NFL wide receivers.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech (No. 6)

Why: Instead of picking another long, athletic outside cornerback early, the Lions opt to go with Wilson, a super long, bendy outside rusher.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 18)

Why: Maybe a touch smaller and not quite as athletic as the other marquee corners in this class, Witherspoon sinks a bit and the Lions are happy to grab someone with as clean of film as the Illinois star.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 9 after trade w/ Carolina)

Why: Detroit traded back from No. 6 overall, allowing Carolina to trade up and select a quarterback in the process. The Lions add draft capital and Clemson's Myles Murphy is the only non-quarterback to come off the board in that time. General manager Brad Holmes adds a tail, fast cornerback to the secondary.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: Detroit moved on from T.J. Hockenson ahead of the trade deadline last year. They add a tight end back to the roster with the selection of Michael Mayer; a player whose style will endear himself to head coach Dan Campbell.

View photos of the defensive backs at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: We do know that the Lions are absolutely desperate for cornerback help, and Gonzalez's combination of deep coverage closing skills, short-area burst, and situational awareness would make him a great CB1 in any defense.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (No. 18)

Why: Running backs are like life insurance: They don't matter until they do, but when they matter, they REALLY matter. And anybody automatically scoffing at the idea of taking Robinson this high due to positional concerns might want to go back to his 2022 tape, when he ran for 1,575 yards and 18 touchdowns on 257 carries, forcing an ungodly 104 missed tackles along the way, and posting 21 carries of 15 or more yards. Robinson can more than make do as a receiver and as a blocker, and it's all important.

Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon (No. 48)

Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU (No. 55)

Tucker Kraft, TE, North Dakota State (No. 81)

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: Gonzalez went gangbusters at the Combine to confirm his status as the top corner in the class. He has great athletic pedigree and made sure to remind everyone about his playing speed and quickness for such a big cover man. The Lions should love putting him on the back end opposite Jeff Okudah to make big plays off Aidan Hutchinson's pressure.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (No. 18)

Why: Robinson ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine and his commitment to do all the drills paid off to cement his status as the top first-round back, impressive given Alabama's well-rounded Jahmyr Gibbs also brought it in his workout. The Lions have recently expressed doubts about the durability and reliability of versatile pass-catcher D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams also is a free agent. Robinson makes sense for them as a three-down workhorse.

Charlie Campbell, Walter Football

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: The Lions need more cornerback talent, but there is some depth at that position for Round 2, and they also have two second-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Additionally, I think Detroit will probably sign veteran corner help in free agency. Still, Gonzalez is a nice value as the top corner in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he would be an immediate upgrade as a starting outside corner for the Lions.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (No. 18)

Why: Robinson is a running back who has the potential to become a Lions legend who reminds their fanbase of the Barry Sanders days.

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