I always feel like it’s hardest to be the GM of your own team, and this time was no different. The Detroit Lions are on the upswing in a big way, and I think this draft class could be critical to whether we make a deep playoff run. You saw injuries earlier in 2022 cause the squad’s development to slow down but they turned it on, just not in time to make the playoffs.
Detroit Lions Needs (As of Today)
This team has done a great job of adding young talent over the last two seasons, there is still plenty of room to grow though. I see the needs in order as cornerback (I can’t stress that enough), linebacker, defensive line/edge, offensive line depth, tight end, Developmental quarterback, and running back.
Sadly, corners starting early are a bit of a crapshoot, we’ve seen some studs like Sauce Gardner but I don’t see that type of corner in this class. Joey Porter Jr is my favorite currently, with the fact that I think he has the best chance to be good at playing from day one. Christian Gonzalez, Cam Smith, and the others up here near the top I think will need some time to develop. Porter brings the size and physicality Detroit looks for and if they don’t feel like Okudah’s a true #1 but rather a strong #2, Porter should step into the top role without a problem.
2023 Detroit Lions 7-Round Mock Draft (Brad v1)
Here’s how the 1st round went, just so you can see why I was able to get arguably the best player in the draft class:
With this mock, I used PFF’s simulator and did multiple tries, and let the chips fall where they may (and they fell in a WILD way). I will say, I don’t expect the draft to fall this way but I’d be pumped if it did so!
My 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft Results
I got a little bit of everything, though I don’t know if I expect Detroit to get many of these pieces. Will Anderson can’t be there at 6…can he? I’d be elated if Detroit could land him though. After round 1, I looked at needs but with the players on the board, I pivoted and took BPA. Senior Bowl Darling John Michael-Schmitz is the type of lineman Dan Campbell loves, this kid loves to ball and is a leader, we saw it in Mobile.
Morris and Duncan felt like redundant picks but have enough versatility to use them as Depth (at least) from Day 1. Morris could be utilized across the Line plus edge rushing ability. This is in case we don’t bring John Comisky back (or lose an Okwara or two). Duncan could be the heir apparent at Right Tackle when Sewell takes over for Decker eventually.
From the 5th round on, I just took guys that have developmental upside. To’o To’o and McIntosh come from winning programs and have shown some potential. I think this staff can help them achieve more, and their skills fit with our scheme. Max Dugan felt like a solid backup with what was available that late in the draft. He had some ups and downs in college, but he showed last year the grit that would endear him to some team looking to develop a QB behind a starter. I think they target a QB earlier in the draft, all depends on how the board falls. In this mock, I just liked other players more than QB.
As always if you want to talk all things football, hit me up on Twitter or over on the Draft Countdown Discord! And check out the rest of my work here.