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NFL Mock Draft: 5 players the Detroit Lions could take

2017 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night

UCLA (98) Takkarist McKinley (DL) celebrates after forcing and recovering a fumble.
UCLA (98) Takkarist McKinley (DL) celebrates after forcing and recovering a fumble.

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions are on the clock.

The team has a late-round draft pick in 2017, sitting at No. 21 overall, right after the Denver Broncos, and before the Miami Dolphins.

The 2017 NFL Draft is April 27 - April 29 in Philadelphia.

You can find a full viewer guide on the 2017 NFL Draft here.

Here are five players the Detroit Lions could be targeting in the first round of the NFL Draft:

Takkarist McKinley, Edge-Rusher, UCLA: Ascending edge prospect who racked up impressive TFL and sack numbers this year despite a relatively raw approach and skill set. He's a little stiff in his lower body, but flashes good athleticism once the ball is snapped. McKinley's motor is a translatable characteristic, but improved hand usage and pass rush mechanics are what could elevate his game to another level as a starting, 3-4 outside linebacker. Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: Praised for both his football and personal character, Davis has athletic gifts to go along with the character traits teams are looking for. His ability to cover ground, operate with loose hips in space, and finish his tackles make him a draft favorite for some teams. While it is easy to fall in love with the traits and potential, Will have to take better routes to the ball and learn to keep himself clean against blocks. Should be able to compete for an early starting job as a 4-3 outside backer. Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

T.J. Watt, DE/OLB, WisconsinA long-limbed effort rusher who posted impressive numbers against the run and pass in just one year as a starter. He is a tireless worker who pursues from snap to whistle and his brother, J.J., will be a tremendous resource for technique and pass-rush plan. While he is unlikely to win a race to the edge, he's a plus run defender who can get to the quarterback with plus hand work and relentless effort. - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Reuben Foster, LB, AlabamaFoster is a complete prospect, and should be considered among the elite players in this draft class. He graded well in all three phases of defense, most notably posting the highest overall and run-defense grades among FBS LBs, as well as the eighth-highest pass-coverage grade among LBs with at least 300 coverage snaps played. His athleticism is evident in all phases, as he has the quickness and change of direction needed to be an effective pass-rusher (he posted 22 total pressures in 2016 on just 93 rushes). He excels in all forms of coverage, but most notably in man, as his speed and closing ability allow him to consistently stay with backs and TEs and make plays on the ball. - PFF ANALYSIS TEAM

Derek Barnett, DL - Tennessee: Barnett is the most polished down lineman in this years very deep class. Double digit sacks in 3 straight seasons at Tennessee, Barnett can step right in and take over the other end spot opposite Ziggy. Barnett also wreaks havoc in the backfield against the run, something the Lions really need help with. Barnett has the production to be a top 15 pick, so he may not fall to Detroit at 21. Charles Harris, Malik McDowell and Takkarist Mckinley are other options for Detroit.


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