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How can the Lions ace the NFL Draft? ESPN’s Todd McShay offers a way for the Lions to get off to a strong start in his three-round mock draft posted Tuesday (pay site).

The ESPN draft analyst cautions this isn’t a traditional mock draft, based on league rumblings, but rather who he’d pick for each team in order to merit an “A” for the first three rounds of the April 26-28 draft.

For the Lions, it starts with massive UTEP guard Will Hernandez at No. 20, followed by Georgia running back Nick Chubb in Round 2 (No. 51), and Ohio State defensive end Jalyn Holmes in the third round (No. 82).

The first two picks would help address the Lions’ need to beef up its powerless run game, which ranked dead last in 2017, averaging 76.3 yards per game.

Chubb rushed for 1,345 yards last season for the Bulldogs, averaging six yards per carry. He scored 15 touchdowns, splitting duties with Sony Michel.

The 6-foot-2, 348-pound Hernandez “has short arms (32 inches) for a guard,” McShay writes, “but is a powerful run-blocker and improving in pass protection. He’d be a likely starter. Chubb had an exceptional combine, and if his medical checks out, he could be a steal in the middle of the second round. He had an exceptional combine.”

Holmes, meanwhile, “has the tools to develop into a starting left defensive end and has upside,” McShay writes.

McShay slots Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst with the Atlanta Falcons at No. 26, writing “assuming his medical checks out, Hurst would be a nice fit in Atlanta to help fill some snaps the Falcons lost with Dontari Poe’s departure.”

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