Mel Kiper Sends Okudah, DT To Lions In Two-Round Mock


The NFL Draft is nearly a week away, and the Lions seem destined to go defense in the first round. 

Jeffrey Okudah? Isaiah Simmons? Derrick Brown? 

In the fourth installment of his mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper stuck with his prior pick and went with the cornerback from Ohio State. Okudah would give Detroit a potential No. 1 corner to step in for Darius Slay. 
"The Lions brought in Desmond Trufant, but he's no longer a No. 1 corner. Okudah could be that guy, and he'd instantly help the league's last-ranked pass defense," writes Kiper. "Detroit could solicit trade offers to add valuable picks, but Matt Patricia is 9-22-1 in two seasons as coach, so he needs to win now to keep his job. His best bet might be taking the draft's best cornerback." 
Okudah has been the most popular pick for Detroit at No. 3, and it'd be a surprise as this point if the club chose otherwise. But rumors are starting to swirl that the Lions are eyeing a couple quarterbacks at the top of the draft. 

Assuming Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia stick with Okudah, the more intriguing question is what they'll do next. They have one of the first picks on Day 2 at No. 35 overall. Running back, guard and defensive line are all on the table. 

Kiper has the Lions doubling down on defense and beefing up the interior of their line with TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. 

"Matt Patricia really needs to fix the Lions' defense, and Blacklock could slide in as a starter next to free-agent addition Danny Shelton. Blacklock played a lot of nose tackle at TCU, but he could rush the passer more in Detroit's 4-3 defense," write Kiper. 

Blacklock, considered the third best DT on the board after Brown and South Carolina's Javon Kinlaw, had 40 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 12 games last season. He'd join a revamped defensive line in Detroit that features fellow newcomers Shelton and Nick Williams.