Detroit Lions Mock Draft v1.0

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Third Round  

Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State  

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Technically the Lions do not have a third round pick, as Mayhew dealt it away in order to acquire Gabe Wright in the 2015 fourth round. However, Detroit is due at least one compensatory pick for the net loss of free agent capital.

No team lost more significant resources via free agency than Detroit, so it’s a safe bet the Lions will get the very first comp pick, which will be the 96th overall pick (New England lost its first rounder as part of the DeflateGate ordeal). They could actually get two picks after the third round, but that’s just speculation at this point.

The last quarterback drafted by the Detroit Lions is Matthew Stafford. That was 2009. No team in modern NFL history has ever gone so long between selecting quarterbacks. Stafford will be the starting QB in Detroit next year, and perhaps the year after that. His relatively decent play, his known commodity as a quality starting quarterback and his bulky contract ensure this status. But the team desperately needs a legitimate No. 2 quarterback, one with actual potential for coaches to develop.

Carson Wentz offers this developmental potential. Even though he plays for an FCS school, he’s highly respected by scouts. At 6’6” and 230-plus pounds, Wentz has above-average arm strength and a deft touch on shorter routes. He can rifle a bullet into a small window over the linebacker and in front of the safety, not unlike Stafford.

There are questions with his footwork and agility; he’s often flat-footed and doesn’t move well if forced to flee. While he’ll never be more mobile than a Carson Palmer type, the feet and his occasional propensity for locking onto his primary target can be coached up and improved.

A wrist injury has ended his regular season for the Bison, but he should be ready for the postseason scouting and workout season.

There’s a fair chance Wentz will not even make it this far in the draft. He’s expected to participate in the Senior Bowl in January, and his skills are ideal for the practice fields in Mobile (where I will be covering the action live for the 10th consecutive year).

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