Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
One of the biggest stories for the Detroit Lions, and really the entirety of the NFL this offseason, was the retirement of Calvin Johnson, one of the premier wide receivers of this era. However, I avoided drafting a wide receiver in the first round, despite the presence of Laquon Treadwell, for a couple of reasons: namely, Detroit's existing receiving corps, including Golden Tate and the recently signed Marvin Jones and Jeremy Kerley, and the fact that Matthew Stafford was sacked 44 times in 2015, with Riley Reiff, who is a free agent in 2017, and Michael Ola as their starting offensive tackles.
Picking Taylor Decker helps to alleviate the pressure issues and will give Stafford time to find not-Calvin Johnson in the passing game. Decker would join the Lions with three years of starting experience on one of the better collegiate teams in the past few years, having stayed for his senior year despite being projected as a late-first round pick as a junior. He plays with a tough demeanor, delivering nasty blocks not just to defensive linemen but also on the second level. As an added bonus, scouts believe he exhibits enough leadership qualities and locker room presence to become an immediate leader along an offensive line, something that I'm sure the Lions would not mind having added to their offense. Although he might not be the most athletic offensive tackle in this draft, his intangibles and football smarts should cover for that and allow him to be a productive tackle for the Lions. This pick makes even more sense when one considers that Reiff, the current starter at left tackle, is a free agent in 2017, which would only exacerbate the current problems along the offensive line.
While Taylor is not generally considered to be an elite player in this draft class, he is seen as having a very high floor, and should start in the NFL for a long time. With this pick, the Lions should have a solution at one of their tackle spots for a long time in the future.
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2016 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Tennessee||Leremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss||Chris Dunnells||74%|
|2||Cleveland||Jared Goff, QB, California||quickdrawdoc||44%|
|3||San Diego||Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
|4||Dallas||DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon||Tee Word||52%|
|5||Jacksonville||Myles Jack, LB, UCLA||SxSnts9||73%|
|6||Baltimore||Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida||Lostastic||64%|
|7||San Francisco||Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.||BlackandGold4ever||58%|
|8||Philadelphia||Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State||ukesilence||64%|
|9||Tampa Bay||Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State||RyanAb9||85%|
|10||New York Giants||Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.||Johnny BeGood||38%|
|11||Chicago||Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson||NOLASaintsBeast||63%|
|12||New Orleans||Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville||Dave Cariello||69%|
|13||Miami||Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame||saintmanumit||45%|
|14||Oakland||Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama||Chris Dunnells|
|15||Los Angeles Rams||Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis||quickdrawdoc|
|16||Detroit||Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State||Khannar|
|20||New York Jets||RyanAb9|
|27||Green Bay||Johnny BeGood|
|29||New England (Forfeited)||Forfeited pick||---------||--------|