ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has the Lions going to Columbus, Ohio, to fortify their offensive line, taking Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker with the No. 16 pick overall in the NFL draft.
McShay had Detroit taking Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland in his second mock draft in early February, but switched to the other side of the ball in his latest simulated draft (pay site).
McShay cites the need to protect the Lions most vital asset, quarterback Matthew Stafford, a theme recently underscored by team president Rod Wood.
“Matthew Stafford was sacked 89 times the past two seasons, so the Lions have to address their offensive line somehow this offseason,” McShay wrote. “Decker has good experience and is a solid fit at right tackle — a specific need for Detroit up front. A highly efficient run-blocker, Decker plays with enough toughness and range to hold up in pass protection at the next level.”
Taylor, who is 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, was the 2015 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year.
McShay has MSU offensive tackle Jack Conklin going to the Eagles at No. 13 and the Titans taking Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with the No. 1 overall pick.