MOCK DRAFT WATCH: Final predictions

NFL Draft week is upon us, which means the final set of mock drafts from around the country are being filed.

When it comes to Detroit and what the Lions might do with the 21st pick, the draft analysts are pretty unified in the thought the Lions will be looking to bolster the defensive side of the ball. Of the 21 mock drafts compiled below, only one has an offensive player going to the Lions at 21.

Here's a look at the final mocks ahead of Thursday's draft:

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Why:Davis could go much higher than this, but he would be a good fit in Detroit if he were to be available.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

Why:He might not make it all the way to Detroit, but if Reddick does, the Lions could run the card up.

Charley Casserly, NFL.com

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Why: Like Cook, Foster has top-10 talent, but because of off-field issues he drops.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Why:The Lions can't go wrong adding a defender with exceptional instincts and awareness to the mix.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Why:Questions about Foster's maturity and shoulder could cause the Alabama linebacker to drop down boards. Detroit should be willing to take a chance on his talent at this spot.

Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Why:Detroit gets their linebacker, who is an old-school, instinctive player who tries to separate the ball from the carrier every play.

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN.com

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Why:Expect a defender for the Lions here, and I'm sticking with Harris, who had 16 sacks for the Tigers over the past two seasons. He's another one of the versatile pass-rushers from this class with 3-4 and 4-3 ability.

Todd McShay, ESPN.com

Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

Why:I agree that the Lions need to draft another pass-rusher opposite of Ezekiel Ansah, but I have McKinley graded slightly higher than Harris. Takk plays with an incredible motor; he just never quits. And while his technique still needs work, you can't teach his speed off the edge (4.59 40).

Rob Rang, CBSSports.com

T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin

Why:Aggressive moves in free agency signal that Detroit has high expectations in 2017. A healthy Ziggy Ansah for the entire season would certainly go a long way towards boosting the pass rush but he could use some help. Watt is surprisingly polished given that he began his career at tight end, showing the instincts and refined hand play to make an immediate impact opposite Ansah, who led the NFC with 14.5 sacks when healthy in 2015.

Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com

T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin

Why:While an extension sounds likely for Ziggy Ansah, another pass rush weapon opposite him should be high on the wish list. Watt can put his hand on the ground and create pressure from the edge in Detroit's scheme.

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Why:Their pass rush has major issues. Harris is a player who doesn't test great, but knows how to rush the passer.

Will Brinson, CBSSports.com

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Why:Adding another pass rusher should be an important focus of the approach to this draft for the Lions, who were in the bottom tier of sacks last season.

Jared Dubin, CBSSports.com

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Why:The Lions have a huge need along the defensive front, as they badly need a complement to Ziggy Ansah in their pass rush. Charlton showed at Michigan that he has the ability to consistently make plays in the backfield.

Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com

Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State

Why:The Lions are looking to bolster the front seven and what better way to do that than with one of the most underrated pass rushers in the draft. The team met with Rivers at his pro day and several teams reportedly like him late in the first round.

Chris Burke, SI.com

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Why:Ever since the Lions let Cliff Avril walk in free agency, they have struggled to find a complement for Ziggy Ansah off the edge. Charlton might require a little patience while he grows into his game, but he could end Detroit's search.

Nate Davis, USA Today

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Why:No team in the NFC had fewer sacks than Detroit's 26. Harris is lightning quick off the edge and could take some game plan focus off DE Ziggy Ansah, who had a horrible 2016 season.

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU

Why:Bouncing back from a subpar 2015, White led all cornerbacks with a 90.5 overall grade in 2016. He has the versatility to play both on the outside and in the slot and he brings a playmaking component on the back end as evidenced by his 12 pass breakups (tied for third in 2016) and two interceptions. White can compete immediately for playing time on the outside while bringing the versatility to move around the defensive backfield in subpackages.

Doug Farrar, Bleacher Report

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Why:Adding O.J. Howard to the Detroit offense would certainly provide some clarity and perhaps light a fire under Ebron's posterior. Howard wasn't a primary target in the Alabama offense –he doesn't have the numbers he would if he'd played in a spread attack –but when you watch him play, it's clear he's NFL-ready. At 6'6" and 251 pounds with 4.51-second 40-yard dash speed, Howard is a mismatch for enemy defenders. He can beat safeties and tight ends with both quickness and strength and will find the open spot in a zone, and perhaps most importantly for some teams, he's an excellent blocker. Howard could see his numbers shoot up in a high-volume passing offense like Detroit's.

Evan Silva, Rotoworld

Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

Why:In the olden days – as in, five years ago – Reddick would have been labeled an overrated "tweener" who lacks a defined NFL position and is therefore too difficult for a confident NFL projection. As the league is now more pass oriented and open to scheme and position versatility, Reddick fits far better in today's game than he would have back then. Reddick played tailback and safety in high school, enrolled at Temple as a walk-on cornerback, developed into one of college football's premier edge rushers, and played middle linebacker at January's Senior Bowl. The Lions need help in the defensive front seven.

Nick Klopsis, Newsday

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Why:The Lions tied the Browns for second-to-last in the NFL with 26 sacks. Devin Taylor had 4 1/2 of them, second on the team, but he's a free agent. Kerry Hyder had a breakout season with eight sacks, but the Lions still need pass-rush help across from Ziggy Ansah. Charles Harris is the latest in a long line of Missouri pass-rushers to make the leap to the NFL, and he could be a good fit here. Harris has excellent speed and uses his varied pass-rush moveset (in particular, a nasty spin move) to get past blockers. He's still a work in progress in the run game and he struggled at the Combine (4.82 40, 32-inch vertical, 9-1 broad jump, 7.47 three-cone), but nevertheless, his tape is solid. He could contribute right away in a Lions defense that needs another edge threat.

Vinnie Lyer, Sporting News

Jabrill Peppers, SS, Michigan

Why:The Lions can look up the road to Ann Arbor and see how the versatile Peppers can be used in their defensive scheme, too. While he waits his turn to take over full-time as a playmaking safety, he can be effective in sub-packages vs. the run and pass.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising