Mock drafts project seven targets for Lions' No. 10 pick
MAY 01, 2014 10:40a ET
It is exactly one week before the NFL Draft and the projections remain all over the place when it comes to what the Detroit Lions will do with the No. 10 pick overall, assuming they don't trade up or down beforehand.
The debate rages on concerning what direction the Lions will go. Offense or defense? Lineman or skill player?
A survey of 12 mock drafts (two from Fox Sports, eight from NFL.com and two from ESPN) found seven different players currently projected for the Lions.
No matter what, they should add a player who can help their team -- either start immediately or provide much-needed depth. It's just a matter of who falls to them and which position they decide to fill.
Here are the perceived most likely targets:
Cornerback, Oklahoma State
Projected by Joel Klatt (Fox Sports), Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) and Mike Huguenin (NFL.com).
My take: Gilbert, who is also a standout return specialist, makes a lot of sense in some ways considering the uncertainty over whether starting cornerback Chris Houston will rebound from a poor 2013 season.
However, there are conflicting evaluations on Gilbert. Some analysts have dropped him in their player rankings in recent weeks. The argument can be made that Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard and possibly even Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller are just as good, if not better cornerbacks who also should be available.
HA HA CLINTON-DIX
Projected by Brian Baldinger, Matt Smith and Bryan Fischer, all from NFL.com.
My take: The Lions signed a veteran in free agency, James Ihedigbo, to fill Louis Delmas' spot in the starting lineup. Would they use such a high pick on another safety?
Some evaluators believe the cornerbacks and safeties in this draft would be a poor value with the No. 10 selection overall. In that case, there's always the possibility of trading down a few notches to acquire an extra pick later on and still draft one of these defensive backs.
Tight end, North Carolina
Projected by Todd McShay (ESPN) and Bucky Brooks (NFL.com).
My take: The pick would make more sense if the Lions hadn't re-signed Brandon Pettigrew, their starting tight end, and didn't have Joseph Fauria returning after catching seven touchdown passes as a rookie.
Still, Ebron is a 6-foot-4 playmaker who has the skills of a big-target receiver. He would certainly give quarterback Matthew Stafford another valuable weapon.
Offensive tackle, Michigan
Projected by Daniel Jeremiah (NFL.com).
My take: Much depends on the level of confidence the Lions have in LaAdrian Waddle, who came out of nowhere as an undrafted player to start at right tackle for the Lions last season as a rookie.
Is Waddle a true starter for the long term, or is he more likely to settle into a reserve role?
Receiver, Texas A&M
Projected by Chase Goodbread (NFL.com).
My take: Evans is a big receiver who was a popular choice for Detroit in many earlier mock drafts, but he's been on the rise as of late and there are indications that he will be off the board by the No. 10 pick. The Lions probably will have to trade up a couple spots to have a realistic chance of getting him.
Defensive tackle, Pittsburgh
Projected by Charles Davis (NFL.com).
My take: This would be done, presumably, to fill a potential major void a year from now because the Lions chose not to pick up the 2015 option on inconsistent Nick Fairley. Ndamukong Suh also can become an unrestricted free agent after this season if he doesn't agree to a contract extension.
Donald received a lot of praise for his performances at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, but he is still considered an undersized defensive tackle for the NFL (6-foot-1, 285 pounds).
ODELL BECKHAM JR.
Projected by Mel Kiper Jr. (ESPN), who added this name to the mix in his latest mock draft posted earlier this week.
My take: The Lions signed a free-agent receiver in Golden Tate, but they are reportedly looking for another one early in this draft.
If they are that determined to do it in the first round, and they are unable able or choose not to trade up for Clemson's Sammy Watkins or Evans, then Beckham would be one of the next-best options.