Expert mock drafts indicate no clear pick for Lions

The post-Scouting Combine updated mock drafts are trickling in and they portray the uncertainty that exists with the top picks, especially the Detroit Lions at No. 5.

Here are six analysts who have all projected a different scenario for the Lions:
Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout now working for the NFL Network:

Detroit’s pick: BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

Comment: “This looks like a reach on the surface, but after studying this situation, it makes a lot of sense. The Lions have huge needs at pass rusher and cornerback. There will be plenty of quality cornerbacks available in the second round, but the edge-rush pool is shallow. Ansah dominated the Senior Bowl game while playing in the Lions’ defensive scheme.”

Top 4 picks: Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel to Kansas City; Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher to Jacksonville; Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd to Oakland; and Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan to Philadelphia.

Brian Billick, a former NFL coach and current broadcaster for FOX and the NFL Network:

Detroit’s pick: Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore.

Comment: “In today’s NFL, you gotta have pass rushers. The Lions aren’t getting Kyle Vanden Bosch back, and Moore could be just what they’re looking for.”

Top 4 picks: Joeckel to Kansas City; Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner to Jacksonville; Floyd to Oakland; and Warmack to Philadelphia.
Don Banks,

Detroit’s pick: Fisher.

Comment: “The Lions don’t just have a need at offensive line, they have needs, plural. With Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola having played forever, and Gosder Cherilus entering free agency, Detroit can’t afford to pass on a tackle prospect who some consider the equal of our projected No. 1 pick, Joeckel of Texas A&M. And with Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones having his spinal stenosis confirmed at the combine, I don’t see him being deemed worth a risk in the top five.”

Top 4 picks: Joeckel to Kansas City, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner to Jacksonville; Floyd to Oakland; and Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack to Philadelphia.
Rob Rang,

Detroit’s pick: Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.

Comment: Speed rusher Cliff Avril led the Lions with 9.5 sacks (last season) but that may not be enough to keep him in Detroit after he heads into free agency. … Jones projects best at outside linebacker but his primary job in the NFL will be attacking the line of scrimmage, just as it was at Georgia. Only concerns about Jones’ health (spinal stenosis) could push him out of the top five.”

Top 4 picks: Joeckel to Kansas City; Floyd to Jacksonville; Werner to Oakland; and Milliner to Philadelphia.

Charlie Campbell,

Detroit’s pick: Milliner.

Comment: “The Lions’ M.O. is to take the top player available. That would be Milliner in this situation. Cornerbacks usually don’t go in the top five unless they are top-notch elite prospects, but this draft class is so horrendous at the top that Milliner could easily go No. 4 or 5. It seems like Detroit has needed cornerback help for ages; general manager Martin Mayhew even admitted that he’s looking for one. He could finally put an end to that by selecting Milliner.”

Top 4 picks: Joeckel to Kansas City; Jordan to Jacksonville; Floyd to Oakland; and Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to Philadelphia.
Mike O’Hara, former Lions beat writer for and the Detroit News, now writing for the team’s web site:

Detroit’s pick: Jordan.

Comment: “Jordan is a terrific athlete who switched from wide receiver to defense. He’s a versatile outside linebacker, but the question is whether he can fill the pass-rush role the Lions need. Jordan could be better suited to another team’s scheme … I want to lean toward Mingo (LSU defensive end/outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo), and I might do that on April 25. But not today.”

Top 4 picks: Joeckel to Kansas City; Milliner to Jacksonville; Floyd to Oakland; and Fisher to Philadelphia.
Fifty-two days before the draft, there’s six views and six different choices — one cornerback, one offensive tackle and four pass-rush types.

The lack of agreement confirms two perceptions at work:

1. This year’s draft is as unpredictable as ever at the top, with really no sure-things.

2. The Lions have multiple major needs to fill before they will be considered playoff contenders again.