Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
In the constant battle between drafting for need and/vs drafting the best player available, it's a beautiful moment when those different draft methodologies harmonize perfectly. That is the opportunity that the Lions have when they select Marlon Humphrey with the 21st pick in the 2017 draft.
Like the Eagles, the Lions' biggest needs match up pretty well with the quality depth this draft, their top needs being RB, DL, and CB (not necessarily in that order). While cornerback isn't necessarily their biggest need they could still use more depth and competition at the position. Last season they saw inconsistent play in the secondary due to injury. They did recently sign D.J. Hayden but he doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Humphrey would add great talent and youth to the Lions secondary. Also, it would also allow the rookie to learn and progress under Darius Slay, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, and give them an intimidating pair of young playmakers on the outside (something we as Eagles fans should be insanely jealous of).
Considering the good depth at defensive line in this year's draft and the Lions' need there, I considered several defense ends for this pick. However, after looking at the players that were already selected, a decent amount being defensive line but only 1 cornerback taken so far, the Lions have the opportunity to pick one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft. It was also pointed out by our resident "draft expert," Ben Natan, that Humphrey's skills could translate to the safety position as well. That kind of potential versatility will definitely have some teams interested. You can check out the full BGN draft profile of Humphrey here.
Has the body type and athletic traits that are out of central casting. Fluid hips and hard-charging makeup speed. Well-versed in a variety of coverages. Plays with disciplined eyes and good balance between high-low responsibilities in zone. Good short-area acceleration to close out receivers and attack throwing lanes. Reactive athleticism helps erase coverage mistakes. Extremely competitive with an edge that spikes after he's beaten. Timid receivers should take the day off. Aggressive from press with a powerful punch. Looks to intimidate when the opportunity arises. Drives receivers out of bounds and out of the play if their vertical release takes them too close to the boundary. Will not let a blocking receiver punk him. Tears through blocker and attacks downhill. Searches for opportunities to strip the ball; forced three fumbles in 2016.
Impatient from press coverage. Opens inside or outside too early rather than waiting for a clear declare from receiver. Struggles to stay in phase throughout the route and allows separation opportunities. Feet are fast but sloppy. Footwork becomes bulky and balance diminishes when matched against quality route workers. Plays a scrambling style of coverage that is too reliant upon his athletic gifts. Issues playing the deep ball are a concern. From off coverage, overreacts to route fakes and opens the door to a big play. Allowed more than 19 yards per completion as a starter. Can be slow to locate the ball and finds himself out of optimal position to play the ball.
Last but not least, no mock draft pick is complete without a spider chart and highlight tape because, if you didn't know, highlight tapes are the best way to learn about a draft prospect.
2017 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
15) Colts (mconner96): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!): Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
17) Washington (kbruneault): John Ross, WR, Washington
18) Titans (mchiodo): JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
19) Buccaneers (ei78): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20) Broncos (NVEagleShark): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
21) Lions (Shark Fighter): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
22) Dolphins (J. Wil):
23) Giants (BigWardy59):
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12):
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):