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Jrry32's First Lions Mock Off-Season


jrry32

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I figured I'd take a crack at this. I don't know the Lions nearly as well as the rest of you fellas do, so if I underestimate or overestimate the value of certain Lions, feel free to let me know. I tend to be somewhat conservative with my mocks when it comes to trades. I'll trade up and down in the Draft (it's impossible to guess who is interested, so I just throw out scenarios that make some logical sense based on the Draft Value Chart and team needs), but I don't do a lot of player trades. If Brad Holmes is anything like Les Snead, there will be plenty of draft day trades. We don't know the cap yet. I don't think it'll be $175 million. My guess is $185 million, give or take $5 million. Also, looking at your team's OTC spreadsheet, Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia really did a terrible job when it came to FA signings and contracts.

Cuts

Justin Coleman CB (Post-June 1st Designation)

Nicholas Williams DT

Danny Shelton DT

Christian Jones LB

Joe Dahl OL

Restructure

DE Trey Flowers

Resignings

WR Kenny Golladay

DE Romeo Okwara

K Matt Prater

RS Jamal Agnew

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin

FB Jason Cabinda (ERFA)

P Jack Fox (ERFA)

OL Matt Nelson (ERFA)

HB Kerrith Whyte (ERFA)

DB Alexander Myres (ERFA)

Free Agency

Adam Humphries WR

It is almost assured that the Titans will release Humphries this off-season. He has flashed while there, but injuries the past two years have hampered his performance. I noted in a thread here that Goff needs a slot type who wins early with quickness and route running. Humphries is that sort of guy. I like Amendola, but it's hard to trust his age. The Lions land Humphries on a fairly cheap, one year "prove it" deal.

Roy Robertson-Harris DT

Robertson-Harris has flashed for me a number of times while watching the Bears. He's not a game-changing talent, but he's a solid glue guy who rushes the passers and defends the run well. Coming off a shoulder injury that ended his season, he also joins the Lions on a fairly cheap, one-year deal. 

Tashaun Gipson S

Gipson has had an uneven career. At times, he has looked like a Pro Bowler. At other times, he hasn't played well. I was impressed when I watched him with the Bears last year. I thought he had a good year. Assuming Glenn wants to run a scheme similar to the Saints' scheme he left, Gipson fits well as an interchangeable safety with good ball-skills. Gipson should be relatively cheap too.

Malcom Brown DT

The Saints will likely have to release Brown due to their salary cap issues. He's also not a game-changing talent, but he's a one tech who defends the run well and rushes the passer decently for a man his size. He's a guy who should be affordable. He will help shore up Detroit's interior run defense. Plus, he knows Glenn and Campbell from his time in New Orleans (and they know him).

Trades

Detroit Lions trade Round 1 Pick #7 and Round 4 Pick #7

San Francisco 49ers trade Round 1 Pick #12 and Round 2 Pick #11

With Jimmy G's injury issues, the 49ers are reportedly looking to go another direction. I have concerns about Trey Lance that would stop me from drafting him here, but I could see Carolina or Denver taking him with either of the next two picks. After Lawrence, Wilson, and Fields go off the board, SF decides it's not going to wait and jumps ahead of those two teams to acquire Lance. Kyle Shanahan is likely Trey's best shot at NFL success, and Trey offers Shanahan a running element to add to that lethal ground game. 

 

Detroit Lions trade Round 1 Pick #12

Arizona Cardinals trade Round 1 Pick #16 and Round 3 Pick #15

The Cardinals trade up to help Kyler Murray out with either an OL or Jaylen Waddle. The Lions trade down because the player they're targeting should last a few more picks.

 

Detroit Lions trade Round 3 Pick #15

New York Jets trade Round 3 Pick #22 and Round 5 Pick #10

The Jets trade up for a player they are targeting.

NFL Draft

Round 1 Pick #16 - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame

Analysis: This is where Detroit finally makes a move for an impact defender. If the Lions stay at #7, I think Micah Parsons is likely the BPA and the best pick. But he may not make it to their pick if they trade down. Owusu-Koramoah is one heck of a consolation prize. I think he's a better version of Deion Jones. He plays at a completely different speed than the rest of the defense. He's extremely fast for a LB, he's a twitched-up athlete, and he has phenomenal instincts. This is the sort of guy who can erase HBs and TEs in the passing game, save big plays with his sideline-to-sideline speed at the Will, and create negative plays with his speed and ability to shoot gaps. The only weaknesses I spotted in his game were his unsurprising issues fighting off climbing offensive lineman (but he has the speed and agility to avoid blocks) and him missing some open-field tackles. He's a special talent who adds much-needed speed and cover skills to the Detroit LB core. This is a guy who manned up on slot WRs like Amari Rodgers in college and held his own.

Round 2 Pick #9 - Alex Leatherwood OL Alabama

Analysis: I didn't put Leatherwood in the lineup as a projected starter, but odds are that he'd start Day 1 at either RT or RG. He's a polished, pro-ready OL who offers good athleticism, sound and consistent technique, and good power. He doesn't have a dominant trait, but he does everything well and has a lot of starting experience in the SEC. As things stand now, there are some questions as to whether Leatherwood will be able to play LT in the NFL because he has some stiffness in his lower half that hinders his ability to redirect. That won't be an issue for the Lions because they are set at LT. Leatherwood easily has the athleticism to start at RT and the power to start at RG. My two complaints with him are that he occasionally leans into punches (which leaves him vulnerable to being pulled off balance) and that he doesn't play with a real mean streak. 

Round 2 Pick #11 - D'Wayne Eskridge WR Western Michigan

Analysis: I may be reaching here. It's hard to say after the Senior Bowl. But Eskridge is one of my draft crushes. He's an absolutely lethal returnman, but those skills pale in comparison to his talent at WR. He apparently runs in the 4.30 to 4.35 range and plays to that speed. But he's not just a fast dude. He's a twitchy athlete who runs sharp routes, varies his releases well off the LOS, and possesses sure hands. Outside of him being 5'9" and not being a guy who is going to win many contested catches (unsurprising at his size), I don't see any real flaws. He's physical for his size, he is a willing blocker, he is a tough player, and he was arguably the most impressive WR at the Senior Bowl (Kadarius Toney being the other guy in the conversation). He reminds me of Brandin Cooks.

Round 3 Pick #8 - Pete Werner LB Ohio State

Analysis: Werner is another guy I really like in this Draft. He's not a flashy player. Instead, he's a consistent, fundamentally sound Mike who possesses great instincts, good athleticism, and the ability to make an impact on all three downs. At 6'3" 240+ pounds, he has the size and physicality to fill gaps, stick ball carriers, and play off of OL blocks. He is sneaky fast and runs sideline to sideline a lot better than you would assume on first glance. In coverage, he has some stiffness that will limit him against quick HBs, but he has the size and speed to hold his own in man coverage against most NFL TEs. As a zone defender, he's smart, disciplined, and physical. Werner is a lot like Sean Lee. He's a smart player who will consistently execute.

Round 3 Pick #22 - Aaron Robinson CB Central Florida

Analysis: Robinson is a guy I didn't watch until after the Senior Bowl. He had an impressive week, so I went back and watched some of his games. He was quite impressive. UCF used him both outside and in the slot, and he did quite well in both situations. That versatility plus his ability to thrive in both press coverage and off coverage makes him quite valuable. I love the way he triggers and finishes. He's a physical tackler who plays fast. But he's also very sticky in coverage. On the negative side of the coin, he is a little undersized at 5'11" 190 and has shortish arms. 

Round 3 Pick #24 - Rhamondre Stevenson HB Oklahoma

Analysis: Stevenson reminds me a lot of Le'Veon Bell. At 5'11" 227 pounds, he doesn't have the game you expect. Instead of being a violent between-the-tackles runner, Stevenson is a patient, elusive back with a nasty stiff arm. He also is outstanding in the passing game. He is the best pass blocking HB I've seen so far in this class, runs good routes, and has soft hands. There are some character concerns here, as he missed six games this year due to a suspension for failing a drug test. But in the six games he did play, he lit it up. He also had a strong week at the Senior Bowl. He would be a great guy to pair with D'Andre Swift.

Round 5 Pick #9 - Robert Hainsey OL Notre Dame

Analysis: The Lions go OL again with Hainsey. One of the things I love about Hainsey is that he can play every position on the OL. He was a three-year starter at Notre Dame at RT. At the Senior Bowl, they had him take reps at OG and C. I thought he looked much better on the interior than he had outside. On the outside, I think he's at best a swing tackle who can get you out of a game if your starter is injured. But on the interior, I think he has starting potential. Hainsey is a good athlete with a nasty punch and refined technique. He's also a very smart player. Where he's lacking is in his functional strength. He's not going to blow guys off the ball, and gifted edge rushers can bully him with power. But his anchor looked significantly better when moved inside at the Senior Bowl.

Round 5 Pick #10 - Damar Hamlin S Pittsburgh

Analysis: I like Hamlin as a special teamer and a developmental safety. I think Pittsburgh misused him in college. They had him covering slot WRs far too often, and that's not his skill. I like him a lot in a split-safety scheme. He'll come up and hit. He looks comfortable playing the deep half or dropping into zone in the box. And he is quick to trigger and attack downhill. He's a physical, smart player who will bring the lumber.

Projected Starters

QB: Jared Goff

HB: D'Andre Swift

WR: Kenny Golladay

WR: Adam Humphries

WR: D'Wayne Eskridge

TE: T.J. Hockenson

LT: Taylor Decker

LG: Jonah Jackson

C; Frank Ragnow

RG: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

RT: Tyrell Crosby

DE: Trey Flowers

DT: Roy Robertson-Harris

DT: Malcom Brown

DE: Romeo Okwara

WLB: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

MLB: Pete Werner

SLB: Jaime Collins

CB: Jeff Okudah

CB: Desmond Trufant

CB: Amani Oruwariye

S: Tashaun Gipson

S: Tracy Walker

K: Matt Prater

P: Jack Fox

LS: Steven Wirtel

RS: Jamal Agnew

My basic strategy here on offense was to shore up the offensive line and try to replace the departing receiving talent with players who will mesh well with Goff's skill-set. On defense, I tried to find glue guys who could play a role well and eliminate the liabilities to the extent possible. Watching the Rams this year, Staley's #1 defense had plenty of names that weren't impressive on paper, but the scheme worked because he built the scheme around the stars being stars and then let the role players play their games, instead of asking them to play like stars. 

Edited by jrry32
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I like the idea behind this draft.  I really want to see that right side of the OL shored up and the LB talent acquired for the defense.  You've done both.  I don't know how much of a fan I am of a 5'9" receiver, but if he's that fast it may not be an issue. Just something I might be skeptical about.

Overall, I think this is a solid draft. Good job.

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There are a bunch of guys that aren't my first target in mocks but they seem to be exactly the kinds of guys that we could use. The only question that I have is what do you do with Jarrad Davis. Campbell seems to like him and I feel like there's a really good chance they bring him back. 

Another question is - what do you pay KG? Is this a franchise tag or a multi-year deal? Same question for Okwara.

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Interesting overall, I like the modest moves in free agency because I feel that fits with what the Lions are likely to do this year, but I don't believe they will re-sign either Golladay or R. Okwara.

As far as the draft, Eskridge would be exciting but if they're not going to bring Golladay back, as I believe, then a more typical outside WR might be their first target and a smaller slot receiver could be gotten later in the draft. I hope earlier picks could be used to help with pass rush, which J.O.K. doesn't do. Fast slot receivers such as Marquez Stevenson or Shi Smith will be there in later rounds.

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6 hours ago, Superduperman said:

Interesting overall, I like the modest moves in free agency because I feel that fits with what the Lions are likely to do this year, but I don't believe they will re-sign either Golladay or R. Okwara.

As far as the draft, Eskridge would be exciting but if they're not going to bring Golladay back, as I believe, then a more typical outside WR might be their first target and a smaller slot receiver could be gotten later in the draft. I hope earlier picks could be used to help with pass rush, which J.O.K. doesn't do. Fast slot receivers such as Marquez Stevenson or Shi Smith will be there in later rounds.

I don't see Eskridge as a slot-only WR. He can play any WR spot imo, but he fits best at the Z and S. He's cut from the same cloth as guys like Brandin Cooks, DeSean Jackson, Tyler Lockett, T.Y. Hilton, etc.

If Golladay and Okwara are as good as their numbers suggest, I'd try to bring them back. It's easier to retain talent you developed than it is to convince top talent to come to a team that isn't presently a contender ($$$$$). 

7 hours ago, Karnage84 said:

There are a bunch of guys that aren't my first target in mocks but they seem to be exactly the kinds of guys that we could use. The only question that I have is what do you do with Jarrad Davis. Campbell seems to like him and I feel like there's a really good chance they bring him back. 

Another question is - what do you pay KG? Is this a franchise tag or a multi-year deal? Same question for Okwara.

I can't say with much certainty at this point. It's hard to answer what players are worth until we know the cap. Contracts have historically increased because the cap has. If it decreases, it's going to change the calculus a lot. Without knowing the cap, it's hard to make a guess.

On Jarrad Davis, I'm good with bringing him back. He's a bit of a loose cannon, but he was always super talented at UF. If that happens, the Lions obviously don't need two LBs.

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I don't see Eskridge as a slot-only WR. He can play any WR spot imo, but he fits best at the Z and S. He's cut from the same cloth as guys like Brandin Cooks, DeSean Jackson, Tyler Lockett, T.Y. Hilton, etc.

Yeah I've seen others say that too, but all I can say is we'll see. 5'9" and from a MAC school, I dunno. I guess at #43 it's not too much of a risk if youre really convinced he's just that much of a bad ***.

Quote

If Golladay and Okwara are as good as their numbers suggest, I'd try to bring them back. It's easier to retain talent you developed than it is to convince top talent to come to a team that isn't presently a contender ($$$$$). 

But these are guys just going into their veteran years, who will both command $15M+. The Lions seem, for the first time in a long time, to have honest notions about where they are as a team, needing to rebuild. They aren't attracting any top talent for next year, that's just the way it is.
I think what they will do (and what would be the smart play for them) is to be young and cheap, get their draft class and the rest of their rookie deal players in there, let this on-paper very good coaching staff work on them, use a season of hard times to build bonds and figure out who can play, and hopefully get a group of guys who love Campbell, play hard for him, and will be your core going forward.
Besides, if the Lions let Golladay and Okwara walk and don't sign much in FA themselves, that's two third-round picks you can get back. I am usually not in favor of this kind of thinking because it doesn't help your team now, but the Lions for one season can afford to think long-term in this way.

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I like addressing the right side of the OL and WR. I think the defense needs an entire overhaul and it's going to take more than one offseason, so I'm not honed in which part we address first.

I like the direction overall though. I like Gipson and Brown as free agents. 

Great job overall. 

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2 hours ago, Superduperman said:

Yeah I've seen others say that too, but all I can say is we'll see. 5'9" and from a MAC school, I dunno. I guess at #43 it's not too much of a risk if youre really convinced he's just that much of a bad ***.

Oh yeah, he's a draft crush for me. He smoked guys at the Senior Bowl too. That was what made me watch his film. He looked as good (arguably better) as Kadarius Toney, and I'm very high on Toney (in the right situation).

Quote

But these are guys just going into their veteran years, who will both command $15M+. The Lions seem, for the first time in a long time, to have honest notions about where they are as a team, needing to rebuild. They aren't attracting any top talent for next year, that's just the way it is.
I think what they will do (and what would be the smart play for them) is to be young and cheap, get their draft class and the rest of their rookie deal players in there, let this on-paper very good coaching staff work on them, use a season of hard times to build bonds and figure out who can play, and hopefully get a group of guys who love Campbell, play hard for him, and will be your core going forward.
Besides, if the Lions let Golladay and Okwara walk and don't sign much in FA themselves, that's two third-round picks you can get back. I am usually not in favor of this kind of thinking because it doesn't help your team now, but the Lions for one season can afford to think long-term in this way.

I think this is a fair take. Although, I'm not sure either will command quite that much. But again, it's hard to say without knowing what the cap will be. The best way to have your cake and eat it too with regard to comp picks is to target guys cut from other teams (they don't count against you in the formula), and this year will likely be a good year for that. If the Lions do want to let those two guys walk, it would be smart to target a couple cuts on short-term deals. Off the top of my head, Brandon Graham could be a nice short-term add (and he's from Detroit). At WR, I'll throw out (in addition to Humphries) Manny Sanders, Tyrell Williams (played for Lynn in San Diego), and John Brown. I'll also say that while he'd count against Detroit in the comp pick formula, Corey Davis is a guy who really interests me. (I also like Chris Godwin.)

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Good re-signings and releases. I don't think Amendola would come back without Quinn/Patricia, so bringing in Humphries is a move that makes sense. Keeping Golladay and Romeo Okwara around on reasonable contracts is ideal, in my opinion, although I wonder if each would want to test the market. If they do, I don't think we'll want to match the offers they're given. The free agents in the mock seem to be relatively low cost contributors, which is what we need.

Moving down and grabbing a bunch of additional picks is outstanding, and, if Eskridge is anything like you described, he's the perfect compliment for KG. It's scary how depleted we are at LB, although Campbell may try and salvage some of the "talent" on the roster (Davis and Tavai come to mind). Adding a 1st round talent to the group is almost a must, although, for me, quarterback and wide receiver have to be in the discussion at #7.

Lastly, I'm one of the few that thinks Vaitai can function as a decent RG until his contract allows us to move on. It was nice to see him at that position on your depth chart.

Good mock. Thanks for putting the work in.

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2 hours ago, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

Good re-signings and releases. I don't think Amendola would come back without Quinn/Patricia, so bringing in Humphries is a move that makes sense. Keeping Golladay and Romeo Okwara around on reasonable contracts is ideal, in my opinion, although I wonder if each would want to test the market. If they do, I don't think we'll want to match the offers they're given. The free agents in the mock seem to be relatively low cost contributors, which is what we need.

Moving down and grabbing a bunch of additional picks is outstanding, and, if Eskridge is anything like you described, he's the perfect compliment for KG. It's scary how depleted we are at LB, although Campbell may try and salvage some of the "talent" on the roster (Davis and Tavai come to mind). Adding a 1st round talent to the group is almost a must, although, for me, quarterback and wide receiver have to be in the discussion at #7.

Lastly, I'm one of the few that thinks Vaitai can function as a decent RG until his contract allows us to move on. It was nice to see him at that position on your depth chart.

Good mock. Thanks for putting the work in.

Yeah, a new coaching staff is sometimes able to salvage talent written off as a lost cause. McVay's staff was able to do that with some Rams who didn't look very promising under Fisher (outside of Goff and Gurley). Aubrey Pleasant is a stellar DB developer. With him and Aaron Glenn, I wouldn't be surprised if there are some pleasant surprises in the secondary this coming year. And I expect Okudah to be a stud.

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I like it for the most part but still not happy about the interior D line or the D line in general.  Okwara will likely cost too much and IMO, doesnt make enough of an impact when he isnt getting to the QB.  The DTs might be upgraded but has the same feel to signing Williams and Shelton so not sure its all that much of an upgrade.  I like the additions at LB quite a bit.  I like Eskridge a lot and Leatherwood would be a solid addition at either RG or RT depending on how we choose to use Vaitai.  Overall I wouldn't be mad at this but think our LBs and DBs will still struggle given I dont think we have really improved our pass rush.  

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