Todd McShay Mock Draft: Detroit Lions Fix Two Positions


The first Todd McShay mock draft for the 2016 NFL Draft has the Lions selecting Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with the seventh overall pick.

After falling short of expectations in 2015, the Detroit Lions will enter the 2016 NFL draft with a number of needs. In his first mock draft for 2016, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay hits one of those needs with his pick for the Lions.

With the seventh overall pick, McShay has the Lions drafting Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.

McShay provides the following commentary with his Lions pick:

"Assuming Tunsil is medically cleared — he broke his fibula last season — he projects to be a top-10 pick. At 6-5, 305 pounds, Tunsil is a great athlete for his size and has the potential to develop into a very good pass protector in the NFL. The Lions could use one of those to better keep QB Matthew Stafford upright (80 sacks allowed since 2014)"

As the premier, and perhaps only, elite left tackle prospect in the draft, the selection of Tunsil would afford the Lions the opportunity to improve two positions with this one pick.

He may not step in and immediately prove to be an upgrade over Riley Reiff but he offers the kind of high ceiling upside that Reiff does not. With Tunsil taking over at left tackle, Reiff moves over to right tackle, where he is an obvious upgrade over the carousel of LaAdrian Waddle, Cornelius Lucas and Michael Ola.

A good portion of the offense’s problems this year can be traced to poor offensive line play so investing in upgrades is a smart move – particularly when it leads to a little shuffling that brings the potential to improve two of the five spots with one pick.

The Lions have already picked up Reiff’s fifth-year option but they are quickly coming to a point in which they need to make a decision on his long-term future with the team. Any uncertainty in Reiff as the team’s left tackle would be assuaged by drafting Tunsil.

So far I haven’t fallen in love with many of the players currently projected to be drafted near the top of the first round but the opportunity to draft Tunsil is my dream scenario for the Lions. The only problem is that I’m not convinced he’ll still be on the board with the seventh pick, or wherever the Lions end in the final draft order.

Next: 10 Lions Who Could Be Gone in 2016

Like it? Hate it? What is your reaction to Tunsil as the pick in Todd McShay’s first mock draft of the year?