Simulated 2017 Lions Draft: Best of the Rest
Round 3: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
With the defense sitting pretty after the first two rounds, the Lions can focus on the other side of the ball. This year offers a stacked class of wide receivers. Zay Jones and Chris Godwin, from East Carolina and Penn State respectively, would be excellent considerations in the second round. But with those two gone, they can nab Eastern Washington’s Kupp at 85th overall. Some may question his level of play in the FCS. His 56 touchdowns in three years should quell any concerns. A tenacious receiver with strong hands, Kupp offers the Lions a reliable rookie at the end of Day 2.
Round 4: James Conner, RB, Pitt
The Lions have two shifty tailbacks who make their hay in space. They need a power back in the worst way. Detroit, meet James Conner, the next Beast Mode. He’s so tough, he can beat cancer. No, really, he beat cancer. The former Panther provides a physical, punishing style that meshes well with the ever-changing identity of this offense. If he is not named a starter, then Conner could carve out a role as a red zone specialist. The Lions only managed nine rushing touchdowns last year, so he would be a welcome addition.
Round 5: Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood
Sometimes a team does not address a position of need until the fifth round. But Connor Harris is the ideal consolation prize for waiting. Despite facing a questionable level of competition, Harris showed the grit and instincts of an NFL linebacker. The product from Lindenwood (which sounds like a New England suburb) can immediately contribute on special teams and add depth to a needy position.
Round 6: Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee & Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas
Holding two picks in the sixth round, the Lions continue to stack quality depth. If not for a lingering shoulder injury, Reeves-Maybin’s stock would be much higher. Similarly, if not for a random spell of kleptomania, the same could be said for Sprinkle. Detroit needs depth at both positions, and each player offers intriguing upside.
Round 7: Bobby Baker, S, Georgia State
Another small school standout, Baker might be on someone’s radar before Detroit picks. If not, they may find a potential heir apparent to Glover Quin.
With this simulated mock draft, the Lions added eight rookies who can contribute immediately. Of course, the randomness and sheer lunacy of the real draft will have to wait until tomorrow. But hopefully, Bob Quinn selects equally impressive players to better build his roster.