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MOCK DRAFT WATCH: Final predictions

Draft week is finally here, and all the projections from mock drafts over the last few months will be put to the ultimate test starting Thursday night during the NFL Draft's first round in Cleveland.

Here's one final look at what the experts think the Detroit Lions will do with the No. 7 overall pick:

Peter King, NBC Sports: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Why: First line out of rookie GM Brad Holmes' mouth if it falls this way: No way we thought Sewell would be there at seven. Taylor Decker is solid on the left side for Detroit but Tyrell Crosby, PFF's 66th-rated tackle last year, seems like a place-holder on the right side ...

Daniel Jeremiah, Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Why: This could be a trade spot, with some teams picking after Detroit potentially in the market for a quarterback, but I wouldn't rule out the Lions staying put and taking a signal-caller themselves. Fields has more upside than Jared Goff.

Bucky Brooks, Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Why: The Lions need difference-makers on the defensive side of the ball to close the gap on their NFC North rivals. Parsons is the best defender in the draft, with sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability and explosive pass-rush skills. Plus, he is capable of covering running backs and tight ends.

Chad Reuter, Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (at No. 9 after trade w/ Denver)

Why: The Lions would rather trade their pick to Denver than New England (or other interested parties) because they'd stay in the top 10, allowing them to select the tough linebacker new head coach Dan Campbell desires in the middle of his defense.

Charley Casserly, DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Why: The Lions need to upgrade the skill positions after losing their top two wideouts in free agency.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (at No. 15 after trade w/ NE)

Why: The Lions trade back and still get the guy they want. Parsons is a sideline-to-sideline 'backer who can cover and hit. Just like his kneecap-biting head coach.

Charles Davis, Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Why: After the Lions' receiving corps was depleted in free agency, new QB Jared Goff gets the best WR in the draft as his new go-to target.

Rhett Lewis, Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Why: I don't think there's a player on the board right now who would be a surprise for a team that has some work to do in building this roster back up. Yes, the Lions have Jared Goff, but it's his presence for the next couple years that makes this pick of Lance even more plausible ...

Peter Schrager, Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech (at No. 16 after trade w/ Arizona)

Why: The Lions could be a team that trades back not once but multiple times in this draft. With Detroit in re-build mode and with just six draft picks this year, look for GM Brad Holmes to be wheelin' and dealin' during the entire three-day exercise. Darrisaw is a former lightly recruited prospect out of prep school who has been magnificent the past few years with the Hokies.

Jack Borowsky, Sports Illustrated: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Why: The Lions have a lot of needs and could have easily gone with a tackle, but they need playmakers on defense. Parsons is a risky pick, but if he works out, there is no reason why he can't be the best defender in the draft.

Gary Gramling, Sports Illustrated: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (at No. 13 after trade w/ LA Chargers)

Why: The only reason the two Alabama receivers are getting out of the top 10 is because the position is already so obscenely deep—across the league and in this draft class—with yet another bumper crop expected in 2022. Smith's ability to escape off the line of scrimmage and create with the ball in his hands meshes nicely with Jared Goff's skillset.

Nick Klopsis, Newsday: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Why: The Lions' current projected starters at wide receiver: Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams and Quintez Cephus. Williams missed all of 2020 with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and Perriman and Cephus combined for 50 catches, 854 yards and five touchdowns. DeVonta Smith won the Heisman and emerged as Mac Jones' favorite target in Alabama's high-powered offense thanks to his excellent technique and soft hands. He's a bit on the thinner side at 6-1, 175 pounds, but he plays like a much bigger receiver.

Ryan Wilson, Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Why: Should the Lions consider a QB here? Yeah, probably, especially with both Fields and Lance on the board. But if they want to make it work with Jared Goff, they're going to need to restock the cupboard at wide receiver.

Josh Edwards, Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (at No. 15 after trade w/ NE)

Why: If Detroit were able to acquire another 2022 first-round pick and still manage to pick Patrick Surtain II, it would be a home run in Brad Holmes' first draft.

Chris Trapasso, Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (at No. 9 after trade w/ Denver)

Why: After moving back, the Lions still get Waddle, who reminds new GM Brad Holmes of Brandin Cooks. Detroit gets a fourth- and sixth-round selection in this trade.

Pete Prisco, Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Why: He's the best of this class, and they have a major need. It would make a ton of sense to grab him here to help Jared Goff. Their receiver room needs a top dog.

Cody Benjamin, Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (at No. 15 after trade w/ NE)

Why: After moving out of the top 10 in their swap with the Patriots, the Lions end up with the best LB in the class -- a high-upside difference-maker for the middle of Dan Campbell's overhauled defense.

Patrik Walker, Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Why: The Lions would do well to consider their options of possibly trading out of this spot, but not with Slater staring them in the face. On some boards, Slater is graded higher than Sewell, and potentially generational left tackles don't just fall out of trees. They traded for Jared Goff, so now protect him, and find him weapons with the remaining picks to help set him up for success.

Jason McIntyre, Fox Sports: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Why: The Lions sit in a great trade spot, especially if Fields goes third. Surtain and Jeff Okudah in back-to-back drafts sets the defense up for years.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Why: Matthew Stafford was traded to the Rams, but I don't think the Lions are going after a quarterback with this pick because they're likely to give Jared Goff a try for one year. If so, Detroit will focus on its other big issues, including their receivers. Both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones have signed elsewhere, so two new receivers are needed.

Charlie Campbell, Walter Football: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Why: Detroit has bigger needs than offensive line help, but new general manager Brad Holmes inherited one of the least talented rosters in the NFL. The Lions could take the best player available and grab Sewell to pair with Taylor Decker. With two excellent tackles to go along some nice blockers on the inside of the line, the Lions could have the makings of perhaps the best offensive line in the NFL ...

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