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Justin Rogers' 2020 NFL mock draft 3.0

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Go through the gallery for a player-by-player analysis of Justin Rogers' third and final mock for the 2020 NFL Draft. Go here if you are having trouble viewing the gallery.

In hindsight, most mock drafts are mockable. De spite the effort put into them — and trust we when I say I put more effort and thought into the projections than I’m comfortable admitting — we’re bound to make plenty of regrettable predictions.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is the likely No. 1 overall pick Thursday night.

And people don’t forget the mistakes. Look no further than ESPN’s Mel Kiper. A grandfathersof the current draft analysis industy, Detroit Lions fans will never let go of the fact he predicted wide receiver Mike Williams, the No. 10 pick in the 2005 draft, would become a Hall of Famer. Or when pretending to wear the hat of all 32 GMs for an exercise, Kiper suggested the Lions should trade up to No. 1 overall in 2013 to take cornerback Dee Milliner. 

Both Williams and Millner ended up being colossal busts, and because of those wild swings and misses, Kiper’s credibility is beyond repair with many in the fan base.

When it comes to my personal mock drafts, my focus in on being right, or close to it, with the Lions. That’s the team I’m paid to know about. And in my time doing this, I’ve had some reasonable success.

Here are my final mock draft selections for the Lions since I started doing this in 2012: Whitney Mercilus, Ziggy Ansah, Aaron Donald, Malcolm Brown, Jack Conklin, Jarrad Davis, Harold Landry and Devin White.

Ansah and Davis I nailed, and instead of Conklin, the Lions grabbed Taylor Decker several picks after the former Michigan State standout came off the board to Tennessee. And I think we can all agree Donald, not Eric Ebron, should have been the choice in 2014. At the very least, I warned of the possibility of Detroit going with the tight end that year.

Landry was my biggest miss, but I was admittedly still trying to figure out new coach Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme. Plus, there was a medical issue there that wasn’t known publicly, causing the Boston College edge rusher to slide into the second round that year.

White was gone before the Lions had a shot to take him last year, but the team was clearly in the market for a LB, selecting Jahlani Tavai in the second round. Providing an honest assessment in hindsight, tight T.J. Hockenson might have been the choice over White, again, based on a better understanding of Patricia’s schematic preferences.

This draft is unique, at least during my time covering the team, because it’s the first time the Lions have drafted in the top-3 since 2010. The options at that spot are fewer and we’ve discussed them ad nauseam during the lead up. Really, the most important debate remains whether the Lions will be able to orchestrate a trade down, which is the preference.

As you’ll see, I’m leaning yes. But regardless of whether they do or not, I’m confident the target remains the same. If I’ve learned one thing about general manager Bob Quinn’s preferences in the first round, it’s that he wants a player who can play major snaps immediately, and one prospect stands above the rest in this regard.

With that, here’s my final projection for the 2020 draft. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers