The NFL Draft is just one day away, which means we’ll finally know where some of the top prospects will land.
The mock drafts around the country have been putting their best guesses forward for months now. We’ll finally get to see who gets it right. Before the draft kicks off Thursday night at 8 p.m., let’s take one final look at the mock drafts and see who they have the Lions selecting with their first-round pick:
Charles Davis, NFL.com: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
Why: People keep talking about his size being an issue, but the Lions envision his quickness and skills wreaking havoc in the pocket.
Rhett Lewis, NFL.com: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
Why: Admittedly, this is further down than I've expected Allen to go for the better part of this process. His skill set would seem to be an ideal fit for Matt Patricia's multiple-look defense.
Peter King, NBC Sports: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida
Why: I will be surprised if the Lions pick Taylor here. The Lions want to trade out, and this is the area for the first offensive lineman—Taylor or Jonah Williams or, in what may be a stretch, Andre Dillard—to be picked. Could be Jacksonville, could be Buffalo, or it could be whoever picks at eight. (Man, I’m really selling Taylor to the Lions!) I just can’t figure out which team will jump up here. For a while I thought it was Atlanta, but the Falcons seem inclined to use all their picks, not trade a fairly high one to move from 14 to eight.
Nate Davis, USA Today: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan (No. 15 after trade with Washington)
Why: The Wolverines star moves down the road to line up opposite newly signed pass rusher Trey Flowers before taking aim at Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins et al. Gary has top-10 talent, but a lack of production in college and lingering shoulder injury seem to be depressing his stock.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
Why: Ziggy Ansah wasn't re-signed and even though the Lions gave Trey Flowers a lot of money, you can never have too many elite pass rushers. And that's what several NFL teams think Burns can become. He weighed 249 at the combine -- up from his listed playing weight of 235 (and he may have been less than that) -- and ran a 4.53, which immediately gets your attention. But he's not just a workout warrior; last season Burns had 10 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He reminds us of Aldon Smith, who as a situational pass rusher during his rookie season with the 49ers racked up 14 sacks.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Why: Gary, like splash free-agent signee Trey Flowers, can disrupt from anywhere on the defensive line in Detroit.
R.J. White, CBS Sports: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa (No. 16 after trade with Carolina)
Why: The top two tight ends in this draft have a wide range of where they could be picked, with Hockenson a possible top-eight prospect who's still available to the Lions after they move down and add an extra second-round pick.
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Why: The Lions are officially the most difficult team to mock for this year. Edge rush could be a big spot here but I'm going to give them a hog molly instead.
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
Why: Even with Trey Flowers in the mix, Burns adds a different dynamic off the edge with his burst as a pass-rusher. He finished with an excellent 90.5 pass-rush grade last season to go with 66 total pressures, good for No. 2 in the nation during the regular season.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: Sweat crushed his Combine workouts, running the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds and recording a vertical of 36 inches, which is ridiculous at his size (6-6, 260 pounds). He translates that into relentless pursuit of the passer. Matt Patricia should be thrilled to get him to pair with former Patriot Trey Flowers in the Lions' new-look edge rush.
Mike Freeman, Bleacher Report: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Why: The Lions need an athletic, pass-catching tight end, and this is the guy.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Why: (No reasoning listed)
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
Why: The Lions are desperate to trade down. They have countless needs and not enough picks to fill those holes, so I could see them sliding down 4-8 spots and selecting Brian Burns, who would provide a great pass-rushing presence across from the newly acquired Trey Flowers.
Burns is not seen as a top-15 prospect by several teams, but there's no doubting his immense upside. I'd say he also has a high floor as well; Burns has high-character marks and works extremely hard. He was a team captain at Florida State, which should be appealing to the Lions.