In their first 2013 NFL mock draft, SB Nation's NFL Draft experts have Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner coming to Detroit with the eleventh pick. Milliner has recorded 45 tackles, 14 passes defended, two interceptions and four tackles for loss on the season, and was recently named as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. The junior is currently rated as the draft's best defensive back, and as Matthew Fairburn points out, a defensive back is precisely what Detroit needs:
Has a team ever needed a cornerback like the Detroit Lions do? They always seem to miss out on elite players at the position, but in this scenario, the top cornerback in the draft falls to them at No. 11. Dee Milliner has been very impressive this season and has a stranglehold on the top cornerback spot if he declares. As physical as he is athletic, Milliner would be an instant upgrade in the Lions' putrid secondary.
Obviously, there are a number of factors that could change the calculus of future mock drafts. The Lions still have six games to play in their 2012 season, and their draft position could rise or fall with those results. Milliner, and a number of players before him in the current mock draft, would have to leave school early to enter the draft.
In November, accuracy is not my chief concern with a mock draft. Nobody's mock draft will be accurate in November, as too many variables are still undecided.
What a November mock draft can provide, though, is a clearer picture of the type of draft class we could be dealing with. In this mock, I threw in some surprise names to expand the discussions on certain intriguing prospects that have the potential to shoot up draft boards.
Offensive tackles and defensive linemen dominate the initial mock draft, but those positions are relatively solid for Detroit. While Milliner might be a top five talent, demand at other positions could push him down the board.