Detroit Lions: Top NFL Draft Pick Options

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Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi

This was the pick in the first edition of the Lions-only mock draft.

The sales pitch 

Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Almost inarguably, the biggest need on the team is offensive line help. Tunsil is the most athletically gifted offensive tackle to enter the draft in years, but on top of that he’s technically sound as well. He is an absolute brick wall in pass protection.

Two of those pressures came on the first two drives he played this season, clearly showing some rust and facing future first-round pick Myles Garrett of Texas A&M. His footwork, his arm extension and power behind his initial punch, and his quickness to react to the defensive moves are all fantastic. Playing in the SEC, he’s battle-tested against many of the top edge rushers and talented defenses.

Lions in Wisconsin: Analyzing the streak

If he stays healthy it’s almost impossible to see him not being a Pro Bowl-caliber talent early in his career. Drafting Tunsil would allow Riley Reiff to move to right tackle, his most natural position.

The downside

Tunsil has battled some injuries in his Rebels career. He missed two games with a biceps issue in 2014, then broke his leg in the Peach Bowl. In his freshman year he left the Egg Bowl rivalry game with Mississippi State with a knee injury, too. There are minor off-field flags, most notably an assault charge (later dropped) when he struck his stepfather for beating his mother. Taking offensive linemen in the top 5 has generally not worked well in the long term recently, even with perennial All-Pro Joe Thomas and the Cleveland Browns.  

Next: Paxton Lynch