The Detroit Lions’ 2022 season is over, so their two 2023 first-round picks are now set where they’ll be.
The Detroit Lions knew they couldn’t make the playoffs by beating the Green Bay Packers before kickoff Sunday night, thanks to the Seattle Seahawks beating the Los Angeles Rams in overtime just before.
The case for Lions fans’ to root for the Rams to beat the Seahawks was clear–a chance to make the playoffs over a slight variance in a draft pick position. The Lions have the Rams’ 2023 first-round draft from the Matthew Stafford trade of course, and their disaster of a Super Bowl hangover lined up the pick to be top-10 even if the Rams beat the Seahawks on Sunday.
A loss by the Rams simply made the pick going to the Lions as high as it could be, with other results around the league playing a bit role.
Detroit Lions 2023 first-round picks now set in place
Narrowly missing the playoffs puts the Lions’ own first-round pick in April at No. 18 overall. The Rams’ loss pushed that pick to No. 6 overall.
The Lions will have a top-10 pick for the fifth straight year, following the previous selections of Aidan Hutchison, Penei Sewell, Jeff Okudah and T.J. Hockenson. But at least this year it won’t be based on their own ineptitude, just the good fortune of the Rams’ rough season and a trade that was made in part to give Stafford a chance to win a Super Bowl as they entered a rebuild.
Here’s a look at the last five players selected sixth overall in the NFL Draft.
2022-OT Ikem Ekwonu
2021-WR Jaylen Waddle
2020-QB Justin Herbert
2019-QB Daniel Jones
2018-OG Quenton Nelson
The Lions could stand pat, and they’ll get two well-regarded young players in the first round. A trade up feels unnecessary from a broad view. But with two first-rounds picks and two second-round picks (including their own second rounder at No. 49 overall), general manager Brad Holmes will have the capital to make a move should one be on the radar.