The Lions obviously need a big boost at defensive tackle after failing to properly replace Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley last offseason, and Sheldon Rankins might be someone they're interested in, as he fits some traits the Patriots like; general manager Bob Quinn worked under Bill Belichick for a long time, so I imagine he'll conduct the draft similarly.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Darron Lee, LB - Here's another potential spot for Lee, as Detroit could consider him to be the best player available.
2. Jarran Reed or Vernon Butler, DT - The Lions have shown a ton of interest in both Reed and Butler.
Rd. 2, Pk. 15
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE/3-4OLB, Oklahoma State
Emmanuel Ogbah fits the Bill Parcells-Bill Belichick prototype almost perfectly for a defensive end. The Lions need a player at that position, so I imagine they'd love to land Ogbah in the middle of Round 2.
Pick change; previously Vonn Bell, S
Rd. 3, Pk. 32
B.J. Goodson, ILB, Clemson
It's no secret that the Lions need some help at linebacker, and B.J. Goodson is the sort of prospect that Bob Quinn would've drafted under Bill Belichick.
Pick change; previously Alex Lewis, OT
Rd. 4, Pk. 13
Alex Lewis, OT, Nebraska
The Lions have to spend an early- or mid-round selection on an offensive tackle, given their issues with pass protection.
Pick change; previously Eric Murray, CB
Rd. 5, Pk. 12
Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State
The Lions could use help in the secondary, and Tyvis Powell seems like a great fit for their defense.
Pick change; previously Chris Moore, WR
Rd. 5, Pk. 30
Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati
Calvin Johnson has announced his retirement, so the Lions will have to find a tertiary receiver to go along with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones.
Rd. 6, Pk. 15
Darius Jackson, RB, Eastern Michigan
The Lions have plenty of third-day picks, so they can afford to add a running back to their mediocre stable.
Rd. 6, Pk. 26
Marquez North, WR, Tennessee
It'll take more than one receiver to replace Calvin Johnson. A double dip at the wideout position makes sense.
Rd. 6, Pk. 34
Romeo Okwara, DE, Notre Dame
The Lions don't have the greatest depth at defensive end, so they could address the positon a few rounds earlier than this.
Rd. 7, Pk. 15
Greg Milhouse Jr., DT, Campbell
Defensive tackle is an obvious weak spot for the Lions, so multiple selections could be used on the position.
The Lions need to improve their linebacking talent and add an edge rusher to pair with Ziggy Ansah. Watt could play linebacker on run downs and rush off the edge in passing situations. Thus, he would help Detroit's defense in two spots.
Watt was one of the breakout players of the 2016 season. He is good at setting the edge in run defense and also is a terror in the pass rush off the edge. Watt recorded 63 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2016. The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder could be even better as he gains experience. Watt isn't the fastest or most explosive edge defender, but he is tough with advanced technique and a great motor.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
The Lions could use multiple linebacker upgrades from this draft class.
In 2016, McMillan was solid for Ohio State with 102 tackles, seven for a loss, two sacks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder played well in 2015, totaling 119 tackles with 1.5 sacks and four passes broken up on the year. As a freshman in 2014, he played a lot for Ohio State and totaled 54 tackles with 2.5 sacks and a pick-six.
McMillan is a tough defender who has the skill set to be a three-down starter in the NFL. Right now, however, he struggles in pass coverage and needs to improve his ability to drop into coverage. McMillan is a physical, tough run defender at the point of attack.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
The Lions could use more tight end talent, and Shaheen is a physical freak. He could pair with Eric Ebron and maybe replace him as the feature tight end in Detroit.
Sources say that Shaheen (6-6, 278) is a freak athlete who could be one of the mid-round steals in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was a workout warrior, as expected, but team sources say that his tape showed serious receiving ability for the next level. Even though Shaheen is tall and thick, he has freaky speed and athleticism for such a big tight end. Teams think that Shaheen could be a versatile tight end to create mismatches in the passing game.
Shaheen caught 57 passes for 867 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2016. The previous season, he had 70 receptions for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns. Some team sources even compared Shaheen to Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Ameer Abdullah has been a disappointment thus far for the Lions. Even if he turns it on in Year 3, Detroit could use a power runner to pair with him.
Clement averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,375 yards with 15 touchdowns. He had 12 receptions for 132 yards as well. Clement (5-10, 221) had a respectable showing at the Senior Bowl as he was a physical downhill runner.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska
The Lions could use some more safety depth as both of their starters will be free agents after the 2018 season.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Zach Pascal, WR, Old Dominion
The Lions could use some receiver depth, and Pascal could be a steal.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Jeremiah Valoaga, DE/TE, UNLV
The Lions grab a late-round sleeper they've shown interest in.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State
The Lions add more defensive tackle talent with a player they hosted.
Pro days are overrated. The combine itself is a little overrated, but pro days are OVERRATED. Yes, Treadwell did not run well, but when you can catch a football, you can catch a football, and this man can catch a football really, really, really well. There was once this guy in Detroit who could catch a football really well, but he’s gone now, and Marvin Jones is not a WR1 to replace him. Neither is Golden Tate. Both were most successful with a game-changing wide receiver lining up opposite of them. Detroit has other needs, definitely on defense, but an offense that found life under a guy named Jim Bob Cooter—Jim Bob Cooter, for goodness sake—doesn’t lose too much of a step with the continued development of Eric Ebron and Ameer Abdullah. Treadwell, Tate, Jones, Ebron, and Abdullah is a mighty fine arsenal for gun-slinging Matty Stafford.
The Lions are likely really hoping Jack Conklin falls to them here as he can help solidify an offensive line that always seems to be a problem. Unfortunately for them, they just miss out on him and settle for the monster that is Jarran Reed. The Lions were not able to sufficiently replace all the interior defensive lineman they lost last year and need to continue to try. Ziggy Ansah has developed into a star on one outside end position and Devin Taylor looks like he may be next, but on the interior all they have are aging Haloti Ngata, largely unproven Tyrunn Walker, and a bunch of rotating pieces. Enter Jarran Reed who might be this year’s best pure run stopper, which truly is saying something in this class and his incredible defensive line talent. Very strong player who plays with great leverage and motor when defending the run. Very good tackler, both in terms of technique and production, which is something that is typically overlooked in defensive lineman. He racked up 108 tackles over the last two years despite only playing a bit more than 50 percent of snaps due to the incredible depth along the Alabama defensive line. Unfortunately, as much as he gives in the run game, he gives up in the passing game. He truly is a non-factor when rushing the passer. Only had two career sacks at Alabama. He just isn’t explosive enough nor does he possess the pass rush moves to make up for it. Plain and simple, his ceiling as a run stopper is as high as it gets, and his ceiling as a pass rusher is as low as it gets. Because of the importance of the passing game, and thus a healthy pass rush, I believe some people are a bit high on Reed and he could suffer a slight fall but This seems like a totally plausible spot for a guy this talented.
With the big money deal they just handed Marvin Jones to take over for Calvin Johnson, and Golden Tate teaming up with Eric Ebron and Ameer Abdullah, Matthew Stafford shouldn't have to worry about a lack of weaponry next season. With the selection of Taylor Decker, he won't have to worry about running for his life, either. Decker is a big body with the nastiness teams like in their offensive linemen. He doesn't have the long arms teams hope for in elite left tackles, but he has prototypical size and feet for the position. With Laken Tomlinson already entrenched as a solid young guard, Decker can either push Riley Rieff to the right side, or play there himself. Either way, the Lions offensive front isn't too shabby with the selection of Decker.
A fast riser, Conklin very well could go higher than this but the Lions would be excited if he’s available here. Treadwell or one of the other wrs would make sense here as all-world wide receiver Calvin Johnson just retired but Conklin is the best value and he also corresponds with a need. Current starting tackles Riley Reiff and Michael Ola leave a lot to be desired, especially Ola, and Conklin would come right in and likely start at right tackle for a season before hopefully moving Reiff over to his more ideal right tackle position (if they even retain him as he’s a free agent after this season). Conklin is as hard-nosed blue collar of a player as there is. A former walk-on who earned a scholarship halfway through his redshirt freshman season and has started essentially every game since then at both right and left tackle. His best and most impressive game by far was when he went up against DeForest Buckner of Oregon and completely stonewalled him. That’s a top 5 prospect we’re talking about. Has great strength and very solid technique, but even though he ran really well at the 40 yard dash, he may not have the athleticism to truly dominate and shut down speed rushers on the left side completely. Still, would you bet on this former walk-on at least becoming an average starter? I know I wouldn’t.
The Lions went from 1-7 to 7-9 which took them out of the first 15 picks and they missed out of the top 3 Left Tackles in the draft. The Lions have holes in the offensive line, wide receiver (if Calvin Johnson retires), defensive line, linebacker, and in the secondary but remember last year The Lions lost 3 interior defensive lineman and replaced them with a 33 year old Haloti Ngata who is coming back but he is not the answer So the Lions go with the best defensive tackle available in Sheldon Rankins who has been compared to Aaron Donald and can fill the hole left by Ndamukong Suh a year ago. Also look for the Lions to pick a wide receiver if they feel Marvin Jones isn't the answer to fill the void left by Calvin Johnson.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Sheldon Rankins Going to Lions
Rd. 1, Pk. 16
Taylor Decker, OT
Taylor Decker was projected to go in the 14-20 range, so this makes sense as far as that is concerned. He's also a good fit in terms of need. The Lions' pass protection was an abomination at times last year. They needed a left tackle, but weren't going to get that here at No. 16. The right tackle spot had to be addressed as well, however, and the Lions will be better at that spot with Decker. This deserves a solid "B" grade.
Rd. 2, Pk. 15
A'Shawn Robinson, DT/3-4DE/NT
A'Shawn Robinson said some sketchy things in some team interviews, prompting him to drop. Teams had concerns about his passion for football, causing him to fall even more. This might be seen as a great value, but Robinson was a projected mid second-round pick with everything factored in. I don't like this pick very much. This isn't a great fit, and I'm not convinced that Robinson is going to give Detroit his full effort.