7-Round Mock Draft: Detroit Lions Use Multiple Early NFL Draft Picks On Defense, Find QB Of Future On Day 2
While the Detroit Lions have improved greatly over the past four weeks, the team still needs to improve a defense that currently ranks dead last in the NFL. In this mock draft, the Lions focus heavily on the defensive side of the ball with their first four picks, and overall, six of their eight total NFL Draft picks.
Round 1, Pick 3: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
After adding defensive end Aidan Hutchinson in the first round last year, the Lions again address the defensive line with their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Carter is an elite athlete with the potential to develop into an All-Pro lineman. He should fit in nicely alongside Alim McNeill on the defensive line.
Round 1, Pick 13: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Detroit is set at one corner position with Jeff Okudah, but desperately need to find someone to play opposite of him. In Cam Smith, the Lions get a physical corner that has shut down some of the best wide receivers in the SEC.
Round 2, Pick 43: Noah Sewell, MLB, Oregon
While the team has been extremely happy with the play of rookie Malcolm Rodriguez, the other linebackers have struggled most of the season. If the Lions are able to get Noah Sewell, they will get a day-one starter at middle linebacker.
Round 2, Pick 61: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
One of the Lions’ biggest weaknesses this season is their secondary, which is why they address this area in the first and second round. In Branch, Detroit gets an impressive athlete who has the versatility to play strong safety, free safety, and even line up as a nickel cornerback at times.
Round 3, Pick 74: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
While there has been a lot of speculation that the Lions will take a quarterback in the first round, they would be wise to wait until the second day instead of reaching for a quarterback like Will Levis. Bo Nix has had an outstanding season this year, and has risen from a late-day three pick to a potential second-day selection. He should be able to develop into the long-term answer at quarterback for Detroit.
Round 5, Pick 145: Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
The Lions might lose Jamaal Williams in free agency this offseason, and a potential replacement is Chase Brown. This season, Brown has had a terrific year, rushing for 1,643 yards and ten touchdowns.
Round 6, Pick 178: Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame
The Lions use yet another pick on the secondary with the selection of Notre Dame cornerback Cam Hart. Hart is still raw in some areas, and may need some time to develop, but he has the measurables to develop into a solid NFL corner. At 6-foot-2, he has the size to play press coverage, and he also shows the speed to stick with most receivers he will see at the next level.
Round 6, Pick 188: Bumper Pool, OLB, Arkansas
After addressing the middle linebacker position in the second round, Detroit addresses the outside linebacker with their final pick of the mock draft. Pool has battled some injuries this year, but he is an ultra-productive linebacker when on the field. Last season, the Razorback standout recorded 125 tackles, and in just 11 games this season, he has 92 tackles. At the bare minimum Pool should be an excellent special teams player, which is pretty good value for a sixth-rounder.