2021 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions quick hitting 7-round mock

Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Baron Browning, Ohio State
Baron Browning, Ohio State (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Round Four: Lions select Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

Another place on defense that could use help is at linebacker. Jarrad Davis clearly isn’t it, with his best work coming when blitzing, and Jahlani Tavai has been ineffective in his second year. Right now, Detroit’s best linebackers are Jaime Collins and Reggie Ragland. And while those two have played acceptably, they’ve not been anything to actively brag about.

That’s why taking a linebacker with great athleticism and speed would be a great thing to add to the defense. The value wasn’t there until round four when Ohio State’s Baron Browning was still on the board for the Lions to take. Browning is a big linebacker at 250 pounds, but unlike most of the current Detroit linebackers, he offers the full package of size, speed, and athleticism.

On the field, Browning is a quick-hitting, powerful defender. He plays excited and is always engaged in the play. Dynasty Draft Room pointed out that he offers good run defense and has shown the potential to also be a very good coverage linebacker as well thanks to his size and speed. He is fast and flexible, able to stay with tight ends and running backs, and has the power and strength to also contribute in the run and the occasional blitz.

He doesn’t have a ton of experience and it shows in his lack of great play recognition, but over time and with more experience Browning should be able to improve that part of his game. In the fourth round, grabbing someone with Browning’s potential and athleticism would be exciting for a defense that needs help.