The calendar has flipped to April, and that means we're less than a month away from the start of the 2019 NFL Draft (April 25-27 in Nashville).
Let's take a quick look at some of the mock drafts around the country to see what the analysts think the Detroit Lions will do with the No. 8 pick later this month:
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: The only thing better than having one very good pass rusher is having two very good pass rushers. Sweat and Trey Flowers should make opposing quarterbacks nauseous.
Peter Schrager, NFL.com: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Why: The Lions are thrilled with the free-agent addition of Trey Flowers, but they're not done. Look for them to add a few more defensive cornerstones in the draft. Head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn are building a team from the inside out, and if Williams falls all the way to 8, they'll scoop him up. Viewed as one of the surest things in this draft, Williams has the Nick Saban pedigree and the versatility along the defensive line that Patricia will covet.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: Given that tests revealed a heart condition for Sweat, it's possible that he could slip a bit in this draft. The Lions might not allow him to fall past this selection, though, as they are still working to beef up an edge rush that now includes free-agent signee Trey Flowers.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: Adding a long, rangy pass rusher opposite Trey Flowers would give the Lions a dynamic duo on the edges to harass QB1s in the pocket. The recent news that tests at the combine revealed Sweat has a heart condition could lead some teams to think twice before picking him, but based on what I know at this point, I still expect him to be a top-10 selection.
Charles Davis, NFL.com: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Why: Head coach Matt Patricia's specialty is defense, and after Detroit's signing of former Patriot Trey Flowers in free agency, the building of a formidable defensive front continues with this talented youngster out of Ann Arbor. I expect he'll be more productive in the NFL than he was in college.
Mel Kiper Jr, ESPN.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: I really liked Sweat's 2018 film, as he had 11.5 sacks and was a terror off the edge for the Bulldogs. And after running a 4.41 40-yard dash at 260 pounds at the Combine, he has likely locked in a spot in the top 10. There is a fit in Detroit, which just added big-money signing Trey Flowers as a replacement for Ezekiel Ansah but needs help on the other side. Sweat could be an impact pass-rusher in the tough NFC North.
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.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Why: After signing Trey Flowers and Danny Amendola, the transformation to Patriots Midwest continues with Hockenson, who has drawn comparisons to Rob Gronkowski. He reminds us more of Travis Kelce but either way, a legit target for Matthew Stafford.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Devin Bush, LB. Michigan (at pick No. 14 after trade with Atlanta)
Why: The Lions get a third and a fifth in the trade back with the Falcons and are happy to jump on Bush here, a highly athletic tone-setter at linebacker.
R.J. White, CBS Sports: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State (at pick No. 14 after trade with Atlanta)
Why: Lions get No. 14, 79, 117 for No. 8. The Lions move back and land some extra picks on Day 2 and 3 before drafting a prospect many think they could take at No. 8. Sweat had medical issues surface recently, but the fact that he was allowed to participate in the Combine is a good sign that it shouldn't affect his stock much. Even after splurging on Trey Flowers, the Lions could use another option on the edge.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
Why: They have to improve the outside rush. Burns has the speed teams love.
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Why: Not entirely sure why I keep giving them the local product, but adding Gary to Trey Flowers and the recently acquired interior guys (Snacks, etc) would go a long way towards giving Matt Patricia a ridiculous defensive line with which to build around.
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Devin White, LB, LSU
Why: The Lions' early free agency moves for Trey Flowers, Jonathan Jones, and Jesse James made their biggest need "anyone who can cover in the middle of the field" and White fits that bill as a full-field playmaking linebacker for Matt Patricia's defense.
Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: Even after making Trey Flowers the fifth highest paid defender in the NFL, Detroit needs more from its pass rush. Though it's unclear exactly what a heart condition revealed at the NFL scouting combine means for his draft stock, Sweat seems like a solid fit for Matt Patricia's defense given his ability to disrupt quarterbacks while still holding up against the run.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: Sometimes mock drafts just line up and you don't have to overthink things. With Sweat falling into their laps (he'd be a consideration for the Giants at No. 6), the Lions can go straight need and not reach. GM Bob Quinn has followed a clear path his first few drafts of taking a ready-made prospect at a need position in Round 1, so Sweat would carry that trend forward another year. Pass rush remains an issue, even with Trey Flowers on board.
Kalyn Kahler, SI.com: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Why: Even after adding Trey Flowers, the Lions still need a pass-rush threat. Along with ideal length, Sweat showed off his athleticism at the combine (including a 4.41-second forty, at 260 pounds).
Nick Klopsis, Newsday: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Why: Matt Patricia poached one of his former Patriots in Trey Flowers, but they still could use more pass-rushers. Rashan Gary has excellent size and speed and can line up anywhere on the defensive line.
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.
Eric Galko, Optimum Scouting: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Why: No idea who the Lions want to pick, but Gary makes a lot of sense to replace Ezekiel Ansah. Oddly, would be the first Big Ten player they've drafted since 2016's Taylor Decker. Could be a Drew Lock trade up spot.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
Why: Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson is a fascinating option here, but a player who can rush the passer like Burns may be too good to pass up. Burns gets around the edge as fast as anyone in this draft, and he closes in a hurry.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: Devin White, LB, LSU
Why: The Lions have one of the worst linebacking corps in the NFL. They can't cover anyone over the middle of the field. They need to add a player who can become the leader of their defensive unit at the position. If they do so, perhaps they'll finally be able to compete with some of the top teams in their division.
Devin White was extremely productive this past season, logging 133 tackles. A projected running back, White is still learning the position, which is crazy considering how great he was in 2017.
Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Why: The Detroit Lions break the ice at cornerback with Greedy Williams. In a division with Aaron Rodgers throwing to Davante Adams and Kirk Cousins throwing to Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, general manager Bob Quinn must strengthen his secondary.
Cornerback Darius Slay performed at All-Pro and Pro Bowl levels over the last two seasons, but 2017 second-rounder Teez Tabor has yet to develop into a consistent starter. The front office released Nevin Lawson, who opened games with the first unit since 2015.
Greedy Williams and Slay could become one of the NFL's top cornerback tandems in the near future. We're already familiar with the veteran's work, recording 11 interceptions over the previous two campaigns. At 6'2", the incoming rookie comes into the league with ideal length. Assuming he adds bulk to his 185-pound frame, the All-American cornerback should be able to handle all upper-echelon wideouts.
Williams picked off eight passes in two seasons at LSU. He ran 4.37 40-yard dash time but didn't stand out during the position drills at the Combine. He also cut his workouts short because of cramps in his calves. Don't allow his underwhelming workouts negate what he's shown on tape. The cover man knows how to sniff out a route and won't allow big plays over the top.