Options, options – and more options.
There are a lot of good options to consider for the Detroit Lions — in prospects and trade possibilities -- in Mock 8 5.0 – Final Selection.
It’s my last mock draft to predict what the Lions will do with the eighth pick in the first round Thursday night. There is a heightened sense of anticipation this year because of the options that come with having a top 10 pick.
General manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia have said they’d like to add a defensive playmaker, but they haven’t closed the door on other options.
It all depends on who’s available.
If the Lions go for defense, they could take a linebacker, edge rusher, interior lineman or a versatile player to play multiple positions up front.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson of Iowa has been mentioned as a potential pick if the Lions go for offense.
And there’s always a possible trade – moving up for a player the Lions have targeted, or down to add draft picks.
My first mock drafts had the Lions taking defensive end Clelin Ferrell of Clemson and linebacker Devin White of LSU.
Following are my picks for Mock 8 5.0. As in past years, trades are not projected:
1. Arizona Cardinals (3-13): Kliff Kingsbury is the third head coach in three years. Might as well start over at quarterback again after drafting Josh Rosen in the first round last year.
Pick: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma. He gives the franchise a shot of energy, but it’s a high-risk pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers (4-12): Signing free agent DE Dee Ford was one step to improve the pass rush. The draft adds another.
Pick: Edge Nick Bosa, Ohio State. He answered health questions with his Combine workout.
3. New York Jets (4-12): A change. I had DT Quinnen Williams of Alabama here in my previous mocks, but the Cardinals taking a QB means the Jets choose between Williams and one of the top pass rushers.
Pick: Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky. Williams would be a good fit, but Allen’s 17 sacks in 2018 make it hard to pass on him.
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Head coach Jon Gruden’s advice to rookie GM Mike Mayock was “don’t mess it up.”
Pick: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama. Not just a safe pick – a good one. And they have two more first-round picks (No. 24 and 27), from trades last year.
5. Tampa Bay Bucs (5-11): New head coach Bruce Arians is offensive minded and could help QB Jameis Winston by drafting a running back or offensive lineman, but defense comes first.
Pick: LB Devin White, LSU. He would have looked good lined up next to Jarrad Davis in Detroit.
6. New York Giants (5-11): With two first-round picks, the question is whether they draft Eli Manning’s successor with this pick or wait until No. 17.
Pick: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State. Why wait when a player who threw 50 TD passes in 2018 is on the board?
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Help for the offensive line is only 71 miles away in Gainesville.
Pick: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida. Protection for new QB Nick Foles.
8. Detroit Lions (6-10): So many good choices, but which one is best? Consider the following:
Ed Oliver, Houston: The 287-pound defensive tackle’s workouts drew comparisons to Rams star Aaron Donald. Oliver’s athleticism gives him the versatility to play multiple spots up front. There have been suggestions he might play some at linebacker.
Montez Sweat, Mississippi State: He had 22 sacks his last two seasons playing the edge, and he backed that up with an eye-popping Combine workout.
Rashan Gary, Michigan: Another talented edge defender with more size than most others, but his production has not matched his talent.
Brian Burns, edge, Florida State: A sleeper at No. 8, projected to go later in Round 1. One analyst compared him to Aldon Smith, who had 42 sacks in his first three seasons with the 49ers before personal issues derailed his career.
T.J. Hockenson, Iowa: There might be draft-night groans, but he’d be a good fit if the Lions choose to go for offense.
Trade: Always popular with draftniks, especially if it’s down to get more picks. Burns and Hockenson could still be on the board if the Lions traded down a handful of slots.
Quarterback, cornerback, running back and wide receiver are not being considered at No. 8 in this mock draft. An offensive lineman is a long-shot possibility.
View photos of NFL prospect Montez Sweat.
Pick: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State. Devin White would be my realistic first choice, but he’s already gone in this mock draft. Brian Burns comes into play if the Lions trade down.
Neither of those options makes Sweat a consolation prize.
He’s athletic, and he matched it with production. He’s worthy on his own merits of being drafted at this point.
He adds to a defense that got stronger throughout the 2018 season and took another step with the signing of free agent defensive end Trey Flowers.