The 32 sites that make up FanSided’s NFL division recently completed our annual editor mock draft with a representative from each site making the pick for their team. It’s an interesting exercise compared to the typical mock draft put together by an individual. All I could do was watch as names came off the board, having no hand it what players would be available to me it came time to pick for the Detroit Lions at 23 overall.
More from Lions Draft
- Jack Campbell checks every box for what Lions want in a linebacker
- Further confirmation the Detroit Lions ‘got their guys’ in the 2023 NFL Draft
- Another team besides the Lions really liked Sam LaPorta in the draft
- Brodric Martin had to change his draft plans when the Lions called
- Detroit Lions drafting of Jahmyr Gibbs tabbed as very bad NFL offseason decision
I will say that the player I had my eye on was Washington cornerback Marcus Peters, but didn’t have the opportunity to make him my pick after he was selected by our friends at Niner Noise for the San Francisco 49ers with the 15th pick. In fact, I didn’t end up considering a cornerback at all when it was my turn to pick because four – Trae Waynes 11th, Peters, Kevin Johnson 18th and Byron Jones 20th – had already been selected.
With Peters specifically and corner in general not an option, I turned my attention to offensive linemen. Brandon Scherff, La’el Collins and Andrus Peat had already been selected, leaving the likes of T.J. Clemmings, D.J. Humphries, Ereck Flowers, Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher as tackle prospects who could also play some guard early on. However, I’m not actually all that keen on the idea of the Lions filling their hole at left guard with a versatile player also capable as filling in as a swing tackle.
Don’t get me wrong, versatility is a great thing, but for a roster that already has Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle, Cornelius Lucas and, to a lesser extent, Michael Williams, I would need to see a prospect with a clear projection to be an upgrade over Riley Reiff at left tackle down the line. That caused me to decide on another versatile offensive lineman, Florida State’s Cameron Erving.
Erving went from middling prospect to first rounder when he moved from tackle to center for the Seminoles mid-season. I’m comfortable that what made him a fast riser at center will translate to left guard, allowing the Lions to continue their plan of making Travis Swanson the new center. Swanson performed better at center than at guard as a rookie, so keeping that plan in place with the addition of Erving is a better scenario overall.
The Lions also gain better flexibility with their gameday actives with Erving over one of the tackle/guard prospects because he can serve as the backup center, allowing the Lions to dress their best offensive linemen instead of carrying a gameday active for whatever “just a guy” they would otherwise have on the roster capable of filling in should something happen to Swanson.
Check out all 32 picks on With the First Pick.
More from SideLion Report
- Top 5 revenge games on the Detroit Lions 2023 schedule
- Lions center Frank Ragnow optimistic about continuing to play through toe injury
- Detroit Lions 2023 preseason schedule: Dates, times and opponents
- A new contract extension projection for Lions quarterback Jared Goff
- 4 wide receivers the Detroit Lions could still look to acquire this offseason