At its core, the NFL combine is a fantastic opportunity for teams to test everything about draft prospects except their on-field performance.
They see how fast and strong the players are, how they check out medically and how well they respond in an interview, even if some questions are borderline illegal.
For draft analysts, the combine is an opportunity to stick irrelevant labels on players such as "high ceiling" and "freak athlete," sexy terms often given to players whose draft stock relies heavily on factors other than on-field performance. Those players have flown up post-combine draft boards this week while players with impressive college careers have started to fall.
After a 4-12 season, the Lions aren't in the market for sexy. That's why they should pass on BYU defensive end Ezekial Ansah. He may be the next Jason Pierre-Paul, but he'll enter the league as a project.
Instead, they should use the No. 5 pick on a polished pass rusher, with the top targets being LSU's Barkevious Mingo, Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Florida State's Bjoern Werner.
Lions must focus on proven pass rusher with first-round pick
Detroit News | Mar 3