APC Mock Draft 2014: Detroit Lions Select Cornerback Justin Gilbert

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

With the tenth pick in our Acme Packing Company NFL mock draft, the Detroit Lions select the most physically skilled corner in this year's class as they look to improve their secondary.

With the final pick of the top 10 and the final pick of the week in APC's mock draft, the Detroit Lions are on the clock.

Background

Midway through this past season, a lot of people wouldn’t have guessed the Detroit Lions would be drafting at the 10 spot around this time. Detroit completely collapsed in the second half of the season after starting 6-3 – losing six of their last seven games to end the season. In each of those games, they held a lead heading into the fourth quarter.

You can certainly say part of the collapse was due to the struggles from Mathew Stafford, but their defense played a role also. The Lions’ secondary allowed opponents to throw for 246.9 yards a game last season – which ranked 23rd in the league. Fun fact: Linebacker DeAndre Levy led the team in interceptions, and out of all of their corners, Chris Houston had the most with just two. Two!

With the 10th overall pick, the Detroit Lions select:

Player: Justin Gilbert
Position: Cornerback
School: Oklahoma State
Year: Senior

Detroit is ready up front on the defensive line and their linebacker corps is pretty much set in stone right now, as the team ranked fifth against the run in 2013. Their secondary should be the main focus in the draft if they look to the defense.

Even though Detroit drafted a young cornerback in Darius Slay last year, he’s still going through the developmental stages. Safety is another need after Louis Delmas signed with the Miami Dolphins, but with big physical receivers such as Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in the division, they need a corner capable of sizing up against them. At 6’0, 202 pounds, Gilbert can help them in that regard along with his quickness and fluidity. Great return skills also, and it doesn’t hurt to add that to your resume, too.

During the NFL Combine, Gilbert ran an impressive 4.37 40-yard dash. He’s easily the most physically gifted cover man in the class and has good feet with great ball skills. His immaturity/ego and mental mistakes are a cause for concern, so that could hurt him in the eyes of some general managers.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety might be another player to think about with Delmas' departure. Previously, Mike Evans was ideally the pick for them here, but after signing Golden Tate, that takes them out of the running for a first-round receiver (That and Jason selecting Evans on behalf of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in our mock).

I think Gilbert is a reach going this high, but he’s the best corner in the pool of players and has the chance to really be a special player in the NFL. With that said, below is a highlight video of Gilbert that will definitely will make you hit the mute button as soon as possible.

Round One Summary

Pick Team Player Position School
1 Houston Texans Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
2 St. Louis Rams Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
4 Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
5 Oakland Raiders Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
6 Atlanta Falcons Greg Robinson OT Auburn
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
8 Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
9 Buffalo Bills Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
10 Detroit Lions Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

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