ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. changes tune on Lions’ pick at No. 13


Tim Twentyman / The Detroit News

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has released his second mock draft — and he’s changed his mind on the Lions pick at No. 13.

He has Detroit selecting Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, after originally going with UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers.

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“Smith is a late riser, a good player on a bad team and a guy who got less attention partly because quarterbacks wouldn’t put a ball near him this past season,” Kiper writes. “But the film is stacking up now, and it proves why NFL personnel are really high on him. The final test for Smith will be whether he grades out well in Indianapolis (combine). Based on what I know, he will, and he offers the Lions the cornerback help they need without having to sacrifice on value at this stage in the draft.”

Kiper still has Auburn tackle Nick Fairley going No. 1 overall to the Panthers.

The biggest riser on the board is Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. After predicting he’d be the 10th pick by the Redskins in his first mock draft, Kiper now is forecasting Newton to be off the board at No. 3 to the Bills.

ttwentyman@detnews.com

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