Lions select LSU CB Greedy Williams in Todd McShay's latest mock draft for ESPN
Among the Detroit Lions' many needs this offseason is finding a more reliable playmaker opposite Darius Slay in the secondary.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has the Lions plugging that hole with the No. 8 pick, slotting LSU's Greedy Williams to Detroit.
"Detroit needs an edge rusher with Ezekiel Ansah likely headed out of town, and the Lions would love to add a solid tight end, but Williams is the best need-value match at No. 8," McShay writes. "The Lions tied for second-fewest interceptions in the league with seven, and the tall LSU corner has the closing speed to bait quarterbacks and then pounce on their mistakes. Motor City hasn't gone cornerback in the first round since Terry Fair in 1998."
Last season, the Lions cycled through four options opposite Slay: Nevin Lawson, DeShawn Shead, Teez Tabor and undrafted rookie Mike Ford.
Lawson saw the field the most from that group, rotating between outside cornerback and nickel responsibilities. He limited opposing quarterbacks to a 62.5 percent completion percentage on throws his direction, but also led the team with 11 penalties, more than double anyone else on the roster, while breaking up just five passes. He also remains without an interception for his career.
Tabor, a second-round pick in 2017, was expected to be the answer to the Lions' need at this spot, but he's coming off a disastrous campaign. A healthy scratch for several games, he allowed a perfect passer rating in coverage when he was on the field.
Tabor's struggles paved the way for Ford's promotion off the practice squad and subsequent playing time at the end of last season, including four starts. The rookie out of Southeast Missouri State also struggled in coverage, but showed some promise as an open-field tackler.
Williams will be an interesting case at the scouting combine in a few weeks, starting with his weigh-in. He's currently listed at 6-foot-2, 182 pounds. That length can be tantalizing for talent evaluators, especially if it comes with above-average speed and leaping ability, but he would need to add some weight to withstand the rigors of the professional game, especially in run support.
As a playmaker, Williams recorded eight interceptions and 19 passes defensed in 24 games over two seasons at LSU.
McShay has former Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary going to the New York Jets at No. 3 overall.
"Henry Anderson is a free agent, and Leonard Williams has one year left on his contract," McShay writes, "so defensive end is a need for Gang Green. Gary has good size (6-foot-5, 283 pounds) and athleticism with an explosive closing burst."
Gary is one of two ex-Wolverines McShay has slotted for the first round, projecting linebacker Devin Bush to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20.
"There's a void in the Steelers' linebacker corps without Ryan Shazier," McShay writes. "Bush, an athletic every-down backer, has the instincts to play Shazier's middle linebacker spot. With Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt also in the mix, this unit could be pretty dominant."