With month the month of April officially upon us, here is a full seven-round mock draft for the Detroit Lions. Do these selections hit the mark?
Let’s put a difficult month of March behind us, shall we? The Detroit Lions are undoubtedly excited to see the calendar change over to April, as they will have a chance to add some talented young pieces to their team in their attempt to improve on a rough three-win season.
In this latest mock draft, the Lions acquire an extra early-round pick by trading their third overall selection, moving back only two slots and still landing a difference-making defensive player. Dealing early picks is a risky business, but the Lions elect to give themselves more opportunities to add more prospects to both sides of the ball.
Did they do enough to turn the corner and become a threat in 2020? Did we leave any glaring holes unfilled? Here are their picks, starting with a universally popular choice:
2020 NFL Draft: 1st Round, 5th Overall
The Detroit Lions select…
Name: Jeffrey Okudah
School: Ohio State
Height/Weight: 6-1, 205
2019 Stats: 13 games played, 3 interceptions, 34 total tackles
Draft Round Projection: Top-ten
Pick Analysis: This pairing seems almost inevitable at this point, as Okudah has been linked to the Lions with regularity since the end of the college football season. It’s no coincidence either since he represents a significant area of need for Detroit, and is one of the best cornerbacks to enter the draft in years.
Here, the Lions agree to slide down two spots, picking up an important second-round pick (39th overall) from the Miami Dolphins as well. Okudah would also make sense should they stay at number three, but they luck out and land him anyway while acquiring more draft capital.
Simply put, Okudah is a tantalizing prospect at one of the game’s most pivotal positions. He improved every year with the Buckeyes and could become a perennial Pro Bowler in short order in the NFL.
He excels in man coverage, a defensive style that the Lions employ as much as any team in the league. He has smooth hips, outstanding change-of-direction ability, and an impressive wingspan. He nabbed three interceptions in 2019 despite offenses being very judicious about challenging him.
The Lions made the tough decision last month to trade veteran corner Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles, but they grab an eventual replacement with their earliest draft selection since 2013. Cornerback is a notoriously difficult position to grasp for rookies, but Okudah is gifted enough to become a starter in 2020. In a pressure-filled season for this Lions brain trust, he may need to excel in that role come this fall.