The Detroit Lions could use defensive help in a variety of areas, so Mel Kiper has them going with cornerback in his second mock draft.
The NFL Combine is less than two weeks away so you can expect mock draft season to start heating up. With that being the case, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper released his mock draft version 2.0 today.
Not surprisingly, Kiper has the Detroit Lions addressing a need on the defensive side of the ball. As he did in his first mock, he has the Lions selecting a prospect from Alabama, but this time it is cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Kiper offers the following commentary with the pick:
"By the time we’re done at the combine, I suspect most everyone will see Humphrey as a first-rounder. He has length, strength, speed and bloodlines, and pretty much everyone could use another good cornerback or two in 2017. Detroit certainly qualifies; it’s a pretty weak group beyond Darius Slay, and Slay battled some injuries in 2016. The Lions have some good things going, but they need to add some help on defense."
Humphrey was the fourth cornerback selected in the Kiper 2.0 mock draft. Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore went fifth to the Tennessee Titans, LSU’s Tre’Davious White went 12th to the Cleveland Browns and Washington’s Sidney Jones went 16th to the Baltimore Ravens.
Two other cornerbacks also made it into the first round. Kiper picked Florida’s Quincy Wilson 24th for the Oakland Raiders and fellow Gator Teez Tabor 28th to the Dallas Cowboys.
The run on corners shows that despite this being a deep cornerback class, that doesn’t mean teams can necessarily afford to sit back and wait a round or two to take one. A deep class means teams can often find value later, but it will still take an early pick to get the highest impact guys.
Other picks of note to local fans include Taco Charlton going 8th to the Carolina Panthers, Corey Davis going 19th to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jabrill Peppers going 32nd to the New England Patriots. The full Kiper 2.0 mock draft is available on ESPN.com.