One last Detroit Lions mock draft before some NFL virtual reality

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /
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Yasir Durant, Missouri (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Yasir Durant, Missouri (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Looking for talented projects

Starting here in the sixth round, you’re basically looking for projects with upside. Whether it be athletic gifts that need work or the right attitude with enough skills to maybe develop into a contributor, it’s all about becoming a deeper, better team.

At 6-foot 6 and 331-pounds, Yasir Durant has the size and power to play tackle in the NFL. He also has a mean streak. Something I love in a lineman. He wants to bury whomever he’s blocking on every play and tries his best to do so.

But like any player that is usually available at this point in the draft, he is a project. He has work to do on his fundamentals and he has to have better balance control. The nastiness to bury opponents is great, but in his aggressive zeal to do that he loses control and balance too often.

With some good coaching, Durant has the skills to possibly be a late-round gem who could eventually challenge for a starting job.

Smith-Williams brings a lot of athleticism to the table, but he does have a history of injuries. While I’m not fond of selecting players that have had injury problems, late in the draft it is all about trying to find players that have something to work with.

Obviously no one contributes from the injured list, but at 6-foot 3-inches and 265-pounds Smith-Williams is an outstanding athlete that needs to learn how to play the game. Like many of the other selections I have made, he is a high motor player, but he will make some full speed mistakes while revving that motor.

While Smith-Williams is strong at the point of attack and generally seems to know how to use his hands, he’s undeveloped as a pass rusher and has poor play recognition.

James Smith-Williams is indeed a project that the Lions may not have time to develop, but since I’m wearing the general manager cap in this mock draft, I’d be willing to give him a look-see with this final selection we received from the Chargers when we traded back in the first round.