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MOCK DRAFT WATCH: How Combine results changed predictions for Lions

One leg of the pre-draft process is complete with the NFL Scouting Combine in the books. There were players in Indianapolis that helped their draft stock, and there were other players whose performance will make teams do some more homework on them.

The Combine performances have an effect on the mock drafts, with players climbing and falling. This round of post-Combine mock drafts certainly reflects that.

Mock drafts will inevitably change again after the start of free agency Wednesday, as teams start to fill some of their roster needs with veterans.

Here’s a look at some of the mock drafts around the league post-Combine and pre-free agency. Who is the popular pick for the Detroit Lions at No. 8?

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Why: Gary is an explosive player who should be able to move up and down the line for the Lions.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Why: Sweat scorched the Lucas Oil Stadium floor with his combine workout. The Lions could tab him to replace impending free agent Ziggy Ansah.

Peter Schrager, NFL.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Why: One of my favorite names in this draft is also one of my favorite prospects. Tall, lean, high-energy from the jump, Sweat could have left after his junior year, but stayed in Starkville and had an outstanding senior campaign that earned him All-America honors. With Ziggy Ansah set to hit free agency, the Lions need pressure off the edge.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Why: The Lions need a dynamic pass rusher to wreak havoc off the edges in a division loaded with premier quarterbacks. With or without Ziggy Ansah, the team has to get a pass rusher to solidify a leaky defense.

View photos of the defensive linemen working out at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Charley Casserly, NFL.com: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Why: DE and CB are also needs and Hockenson is a reach here, but so are any CBs or DEs at this spot, which is why I could see Detroit trading down.

Todd McShay, ESPN.com: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Why: The Lions need edge rushers with Ezekiel Ansah entering free agency. Gary had a good week at the combine, showing his athleticism and explosiveness. A lack of production in college might cause him to fall out of the top five, but if he is coached properly, the talent and skill set are there to be a stellar disruptor.

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN.com: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Why: Hockenson (6-5, 250) is a complete player who can run routes out of the slot on one play, then line up next to a tackle and blow up an edge defender in the running game on the next. I'm not going to call him a Rob Gronkowski clone, but there are similarities, particularly when you see each as blockers. And remember that Lions coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn saw firsthand what Gronk did for the Patriots during their time in the organization.

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Why: One of the best potential fits in the first round, Williams has the size and speed to play the man coverage the Lions covet. He allowed only 40.3 percent of passes to be completed into his coverage last season.

Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Why: Sweat, who dominated the Senior Bowl and dominated the combine -- the man ran a 4.41, which is faster than Julio Jones, Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown -- has made himself a lot of money the last two months. The Lions need edge rushers and they get a great one here.

Will Brinson, CBSSports.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Why: Monster combine leads to a top 10 selection for Sweat, as the Lions seek to replace Ziggy Ansah and get some pressure going from the edge.

Nate Davis, USA Today: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Why: Getting a prized Wolverine would be nice from a local angle. Getting a scheme-diverse freak of an athlete for Matt Patricia and player who could prove an upgrade over DE Ziggy Ansah if Detroit can synchronize his talent and production just makes sense.

Kalyn Kahler, SI.com: Devin White, LB, LSU

Why: Head coach Matt Patricia could improve at many positions on this Lions defense, and White has great instincts, athleticism and a nose for the football. Pairing Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis with White could make for a dominant duo, because both are three-down linebackers who can make plays in the backfield.

View photos of the linebackers working out at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Nick Klopsis, Newsday: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Why: Ezekiel Ansah is set to hit free agency, and his departure would leave the Lions without a bona-fide edge rusher. Montez Sweat was a Combine winner, posting a 4.41-second 40-yard dash — a modern-day record for defensive linemen. The 6-5 3/4, 260-pounder has excellent agility and length to go with his athleticism. 

Vinnie Lyer, 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, and Matt Patricia would put him in positions to produce.

Dan Kadar, SB Nation: Devin White, LB, LSU

Why: Pairing White with Jarrad Davis would give the Lions one of the most imposing pairs of linebackers in the NFL. White is a linebacker who can make plays all over the field, and he is a real student of the game. He’s the type of prospect who will start as a rookie, notch 100 tackles, and make the Pro Bowl.

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