Detroit Lions 7-round mock draft: Taking the best player available

As the dust settles on the most notable moves in free agency, the Detroit Lions take the best player available in a new mock draft.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes made his philosophy regarding the offseason roster building methods clear early this offseason. To paraphrase, free agency is for filling needs and the draft is the way to acquire talent.

Through the notable part of free agency, the Lions have checked the "need" boxes. Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson were added to bolster the cornerback room. DJ Reader is lined up to give Alim McNeill a suitable running mate on the interior defensive line. After Jonah Jackson left in free agency, as had been expected, Kevin Zeitler was signed to play right guard and Graham Glasgow will move over to left guard to replace Jackson.

That move to sign Zeitler seemed to change the draft equation for the Lions, allowing them to move fully into taking the proverbial "best player available" in the first round and all the way through. But Holmes may be in that mode anyway.

So that's the premise here-"take the best player available", using Pro Football Network's mock draft simulator and thus their related prospect rankings. The huge possible (if not certain) caveats, of course, being positions that have already been drafted or positions the Lions aren't going to be prioritizing in this year's draft.

First Round, Pick No. 29: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

There has been growing buzz pointing to the Lions taking a wide receiver early in the draft, and any possible move left in free agency (including re-signing Josh Reynolds, apparently) isn't likely to completely eliminate the idea.

Update, March 27: Josh Reynolds is indeed gone, to the Denver Broncos on a reported two-year deal.

A lot was made of Coleman's slow 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine (4.61 seconds). But he otherwise dominated on-field drills in Indianapolis...doing some actual things that better translate to football skill than running 40 yards in a straight line on his way to a 9.12 RAS (Relative Athletic Score). And his game speed looks just fine on tape.

Coleman is the kind of "X" receiver the Lions' offense is missing, a big body (6-foot-3, 213 pounds) with soft hands and a big catch radius who can be a weapon in the red zone (18 touchdowns over his last two college seasons).

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