MOCK DRAFT WATCH: Pre-Combine picks
February 23, 2018 04:45 PM | Tim Twentyman
The NFL Scouting Combine is coming up, which means the NFL Draft will be here before we know it.

Let's take a look at the most recent wave of national mock drafts heading into the Combine: Daniel Jeremiah,

Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State

Why: Price can play any of the three interior positions and his nasty demeanor fits with what GM Bob Quinn is building in Detroit.

Jeremiah's full mock

Bucky Brooks,

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Why: The potential loss of Haloti Ngata, who's due to become a free agent, could leave a crater in the middle of the Lions' defense. Hurst is a blue-collar 3-technique with the motor and game to be a disruptive force on the interior.

Brooks' full mock

Charley Casserly,

Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Why: Strong player vs. the run, and he has some pass-rush potential.

Casserly's full mock

Lance Zierlein,

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

Why: Davenport has flashes that are reminiscent of Ezekiel Ansah when he came out of BYU in 2013. Detroit might have to replace Ansah this offseason, as he's due to hit free agency.

Zierlein's full mock

Chad Reuter,

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Why: Keeping Hurst in-state will help the Lions pressure QBs from the interior, which is something Detroit has struggled to do since Ndamukong Suh left town.

Reuter's full mock

Todd McShay,

Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

Why: An edge rusher would be ideal with Ezekiel Ansah a pending free agent, but I don't see a great value here. Detroit has plenty of needs on defense but needs to keep Matthew Stafford upright to have any chance. Wynn developed into a dominant OT at Georgia and had a brilliant week of practice at the Senior Bowl when they moved him to guard.

McShay's full mock

Mel Kiper Jr.,

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Why: This is a spot to watch for a rising pass-rusher, but Detroit would be thrilled with the No. 2 running back on the board. Guice is a true every-down back, which Matthew Stafford has never had in his career. Ameer Abdullah averaged only 3.3 yards per carry in 2017, while Theo Riddick is more of a versatile pass-catcher. Guice had 26 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons, and he looked every bit as good for the Tigers as Leonard Fournette did in 2016. I also like the fit for USC running back Ronald Jones II and Detroit, so he's another option as the second back to be drafted.

Kiper's full mock

Nate Davis, USA Today

Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

Why: Maybe he was under the radar a bit given Nick Chubb got more work for the Bulldogs. But Michel's gifts were on full display in the College Football Playoff - the Dawgs should have used him more against Alabama in the title game - and his 7.9 yards per carry average against SEC competition last year is mind-blowing. Detroit has ranked 28th or worse running the ball over the past four seasons and was dead last in 2015 and '17.

Davis' full mock

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Why: Ignoring the pass rush might be difficult, especially if Ziggy Ansah goes elsewhere. But Detroit had the NFL's worst rushing attack and has finished in the bottom five in each of the last four years. Guice offers rare big-play ability and could take some of the pressure off quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Middlehurst-Schwartz full mock

Chris Trapasso,

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Why: The Lions are tempted to grab a running back here -- or maybe Marcus Davenport -- instead they opt for the elite inside pass-rusher to replace Haloti Ngata.

Trapasso's full mock

R.J. White,

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

Why: The Lions should be looking for some way to boost their pass rush if they don't bring Ziggy Ansah back next season. While at his best Ansah is tough to handle, injuries have plagued him the last few years and made him largely ineffective. Davenport would be an excellent cheaper option to replace Ansah's production, but there's also a chance the big defensive lineman could be long gone by the time the Lions pick.

White's full mock

Will Brinson,

Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Why: No explanation given

Brinson's full mock

Jarad Dubin,

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

Why: No explanation given

Dubin's full mock

Pete Prisco,

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

Why: No explanation given

Prisco's full mock

Ryan Wilson,

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Why: No explanation given

Wilson's full mock

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report

Ronald Jones, RB, USC

Why: Angry that Derrius Guice is off the board (and Saquon Barkley is long gone), Lions fans? Don't be. Ronald Jones may be a better fit for your offense. Barkley is the most complete back in the class. Guice has the best size-speed-power combination. But Jones may the quickest and smoothest when it comes to attacking the line of scrimmage from the shotgun formation. Jones achieves full speed in just a stride or two yet can still make jump cuts and adjustments when he reaches the line. And he's both dynamic and explosive when maneuvering through traffic in the open field. Place Jones next to Matthew Stafford in the backfield, and those handoffs netted a league-low 3.4 yards per carry. last year will become much more productive. Jones will also add big plays to a running game that has provided just one run longer than 40 yards in the last three seasons. Of course, if Guice or Barkley is here, they'll do just fine. But Jones is much more than a consolation prize.

Tanier's full mock

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Why: While the Lions will give edge defenders a long look, adding the massive Vea to the middle of the defense may be too good to pass up. More than just a 340-pound run stuffer, Vea had the nation's No. 4 pass-rush grade (88.0) to go with his No. 3 mark in the run game (91.6). He can blow up blocking schemes and push the pocket, adding a necessary disruptor to the Detroit defensive line.

Palazzolo's full mock

Nick Klopsis, Newsday

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Why: Ziggy Ansah, who had 12 sacks, is set to hit free agency. Even if the Lions bring back their Pro Bowl defensive end, they'll need to find more pass-rushing help. Only Anthony Zettel (6 1/2) had more than five sacks. Harold Landry was a very disruptive player at Boston College, and that helped him set the single-season school record for sacks in 2016 (16 1/2). Landry is quick off the snap and bends the edge very well when getting after the quarterback. He battled an ankle injury at the end of his senior season that kept his stats down, but when healthy, he was a productive force for the Eagles.

Klopsis' full mock

Eric Galko, Sporting News

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Why: The Lions have put off running back for too long, and it's time to take some of the load off Matthew Stafford's arm. Guice can be a feature back who can shift Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah into situational play.

Galko's full mock

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Why: With the best interior linemen gone, the Lions could look to the edge to bring some playmaking ability to the defense. Landry should fit either, standing up or with his hand on the ground.

Kadar's full mock

Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

Why: If the Lions are able to retain free agent Ziggy Ansah - who registered 12 sacks during an injury-shortened 2017 campaign - Detroit might be able to look at addressing its annually disappointing running game. With depth better at running back than edge rusher, however, adding a blue-chip athlete like Davenport to develop opposite Ansah (and solid youngster Anthony Zettel) might be the best way to spark a playoff run.

Rang's full mock

Charles Davis,

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Why: The Lions did not have to go far to scout him. They need his stoutness and get-off in the middle of the DL.

Davis' full mock

Albert Breer,

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Why: Landry was well regarded coming into 2017, and had a good, not great final year at BC. But he's still solid, and seems like Matt Patricia's kind of player (as well as Ziggy Ansah insurance).

Breer's full mock

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