Detroit Lions: Lowering the boom in my first and last 2021 mock draft
By Robert Jones
Final Review: A defensive draft haul for the Lions
With no picks remaining and not wanting to use future assets just to trade back into the sixth or seventh round, I am content with the Lions draft haul.
As I look over the 10 prospects I was able to secure, there are a couple of things that jump out at me. The first is that three out of my top six picks opted out of last season.
I admit that I’m not completely comfortable with that because now those players have to try to regain their groove against the best talent on the planet and it is certainly conceivable that any of them could lose their confidence and drift away into oblivion.
The other side of that coin is that all three players who opted out were among the most talented at their position so if even two of them flourish, then we have added much-needed talent to a defense in need of it.
The second takeaway is that while I knew I needed to come away with a few picks that can help what has been a pathetic defense, I did not intend to go as defensive-heavy as I did.
Eight out of the 10 picks the Lions ended up with went defensive. The other two, receiver Dynami Brown who should contribute almost immediately, and tackle Josh Ball who I believe will be valuable depth to start off and grow into a starter, both fit needs on an offense that still has more talent than the defense at present.
Two of our defensive picks add talent and depth to a young secondary. The remaining six all address the Lions defensive front seven which is the weakest part of the entire team as a whole.
Three linebackers, two of which could be day one starters and three defensive linemen, one a talented pass-rusher who should contribute early, another a versatile competitor who can be used on the edge and inside depending on the situation, and a defensive tackle with talent and upside.
Every draft pick is a risk and I gambled a little more than I expected to, but if they pan out, then it will have been worth it and it creates a foundation of talent that allows me to already start planning ahead to see if I can find our quarterback of the future in next years draft so he can learn behind Jared Goff for a season or two depending on his development.
Now, again, using the draft simulator is much easier than doing the real thing. In hindsight, I am pleased with what I accomplished, but understand it will be a bigger challenge for Brad Holmes when the draft actually commences later this week.
Rebuilding the Lions is a step that has all too often been ignored in the past as too many general managers have just tried to tweak the roster thinking it will become a winner. Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell have a big task ahead of them as Lions fans everywhere hope this is the draft that starts fueling a contender.