ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper has released his second 2016 NFL mock draft and his pick for the Detroit Lions remains unchanged from his first version.
Of the hundreds (thousands?) of NFL mock drafts that are published during each draft cycyle, few warrant having the author’s name in the title. Mel Kiper is one of the few having pioneered the way for draft analysts that came after him.
Kiper released his first mock draft of the 2016 NFL Draft cycle last month and is back today with an updated mock draft. As he did last month, he has the Detroit Lions selecting Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed.
The pick is unchanged but Kiper does have a re-written piece of analysis:
"The Lions need to add talent to the interior of the defensive line even if Haloti Ngata returns for another year (or more). Reed isn’t going to get sacks, but he immediately upgrades the run defense and is the kind of player who makes everyone around him better because he’s so hard to move and can occupy blockers."
As I mentioned when recapping the pick of Reed in Kiper’s first mock, he seems higher on Reed than some other draft evaluators. It remains to be seen if the Lions feel the same way.
The other dynamic that will be in play is that this draft is regarded as very deep for the defensive tackle position. The Lions will have to decide if dipping into that deep pool early in the draft is the best strategy or if it makes more sense to address another position in the first round and draw on that positional depth for a value play on day two or three.
Notable picks in Kiper’s mock after the Lions’ selection include Alabama middle linebacker Reggie Ragland to the New York Jets with the 20th pick and Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker to the Denver Broncos with the 31st pick. Both players have been Lions picks in other mock drafts and have their share of supporters within the Lions’ fanbase.
You can check out the full Kiper 2.0 mock draft on ESPN (insider required).