NFL

2023 Detroit Lions Draft 1.0: An Early Look at First-Round Prospects

2023 Detroit Lions Draft 1.0: An Early Look at First-Round Prospects

The 2022 college football regular season is over, the conference championships are settled, and the next meaning football won’t be played until bowl games begin. But many of the top draft picks sat out of bowl games to prepare for it The NFL DraftWe’re rocking our gear at Pride of Detroit weekly Draft Watchlist series (We’ve profiled over 80 players this year), and we’re turning our attention to 2023 NFL mock drafts.

If you’re not familiar with our draft deck series, each of our weekly posts will include an overview of the previous week’s most popular draft posts. The focus, of course, is on whom the analyst matches Detroit Lionsand selected reasoning why.

Because the Lions have two first-round picks — theirs and the Rams’, the last pick in the Matthew Stafford trade — these articles will be divided into sections. One per pick, and if a mock draft moves to Round 2 or beyond, the Lions’ selections will also be included as appropriate. I’ll also share some of my thoughts on patterns, players and/or themes I see.

All right, let’s jump in.

CJ Stroud, QB, state of ohio

Right now JP Acosta is making fun of (SB Nation), Kent Lee Platte (Pro Football Network), Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports), Josh Edwards (CBS Sports), Luke Easterling (The draft), Doug Farrar (Touchdown Wire), Brian Bosarge (Countdown draft), Jacob Infante (on the Windy City Gridiron), Joe Broback (Pro Football Network), Eddie Brown (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Platte: “CJ Stroud has been compared to Goff, but I think those comparisons are true when you look at Stroud versus what people thought Goff would get out of Cal and no what has happened in the NFL. Stroud has a better arm, is more accurate and works better both in and out of structure. The Stroud staff would take everything they’ve been able to do with Goff and put someone under center who can do things Goff can’t do.”

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Today, Damian Parson is mocking (Draft Network)

Parson: “The Rams are much worse than anyone could have imagined. As a result, the Lions are the beneficiaries of the top five picks in this NFL mock draft. Aidan Hutchinson has been impactful as a rookie on this defense. Now imagine him running off the edges with Jalen Carter to reduce pressure inside creating. Carter has an unreal mix of size, athleticism, arm length and physical strength. He’s a monster in the middle and will help the ROAR return to the Lions’ defense!”

Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Today, Rob Rang is making fun of (Fox Sports)

Call: Yes, the Lions can pick a quarterback here. But with the team playing better lately with veteran Jared Goff and an effective running game, adding even more firepower to a good young defensive line feels like something coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes want to embrace. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Wilson doesn’t yet have the national prominence of some of his peers in this defensive line class, but his length, power and upside are exciting and may remind longtime Lions fans of another wonder five. selected years ago: Ziggy Ansah.

Erik’s thoughts

Almost everyone doing mock drafts right now is pairing the Lions with Stroud, and while that logic has merit, at this point, I’m not sold on the Lions targeting a quarterback. Now things could change as the season progresses, but if the Lions show they are in a position to win, they may look elsewhere to bolster their roster.

Simply put, the biggest driving factor for me is that he is here, and that he has the opportunity to join a similar group of players who are capable of the same output next season. In defense, it’s a different story. They lack impact players, and if the opportunity presents itself to add a difference-maker like Carter, I can absolutely see him taking GM Brad Holmes.

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Right now JP Acosta is making fun of (SB Nation), Kent Platte (Pro Football Network), Eddie Brown (San Diego Union Tribune)

Plate: “Joey Porter Jr. He comes with NFL bloodlines, but he proved in 2022 that he is much more than his name. His athletic gifts leap off the field, and Daxton Hill has made a similar year-to-year progression as he did before being drafted by the Bengals in the first round. Porter’s aggressiveness and speed would be a welcome addition to the Lions’ secondary.”

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Joe Broback is currently mocking (Pro Football Network), Jacob Infante (on the Windy City Gridiron)

Broback: “Christian Gonzalez made a great decision by transferring to Oregon. His development gained momentum, and he is making a great career. His 6’2″ frame gives him good length to make plays on the football. There are some aspects that Gonzalez needs to plan, but once again he is on the right track to give Detroit two great corners.’

Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

Today, Chris Trapasso is mocking (CBS Sports), Luke Easterling (The draft)

transfer: By taking Stroud in the top 5, the Lions get the quarterback of the future of the defense who can play safety or in the slot.”

Jared Verse, EDGE, state of florida

Today, Damian Parson is mocking (Draft Network)

Parson: “What a defensive face the Lions have faced in this NFL mock draft. Carter dominated the interior and now the addition of Jared Verse should excite Lions fans. Verse plays with good leverage and understands how to gain an advantage. He’s a tough, tough player. A defensive front with Carter, Hutchinson and Verse looks like a heavenly trio for Detroit.”

Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Brian Bosarge is currently mocking (Countdown draft)

See above.

Michael Mayer, TE, Our Lady

Doug Farrar is currently making fun of (Touchdown Wire), Rob Rang (Fox Sports)

Call: TJ Hockenson He was dealt to Minnesota before the trade deadline, and the Lions could use a bigger, stronger backup, especially as the team embraces a run offense.”

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Today, Josh Edwards is mocking (CBS Sports)

Edwards: “Detroit selected Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud with two first-round picks. Stroud was used to premium outlets in Columbus, so the Lions make him feel right at home by adding Washington wide receivers Jameson Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown.”

Erik’s thoughts

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: It looks like the Lions wouldn’t take a tight end in the first round. Now, Holmes will always look to add a top player, and while both Mayer and Washington could be studs at the next level, I don’t think the Lions value the position that much, and it’s not a complicated part of their offensive scheme.

Even though they are getting contributions from the three cornerbacks they drafted last year, I don’t mind an edge rusher here as adding passing depth is always a good play. From what I know of Verse, this seems a little rich to me, but I think Wilson would be valuable against Aidan Hutchinson.

The real money seems to be backed by the Lions, and I like all three players featured here. Gonzalez and Porter would be immediate contributors on the outside, while Branch would fit in as a do-it-all slot defensive back and would be best used in the role they currently wideout Will Harris, who is a potential free agent.



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