Detroit Lions final 7-round 2023 mock draft: Bolstering the NFC North favorites
The Lions were likely somewhere in the market for a wide receiver in this draft before Jameson Williams was suspended for six games. They way the board fell here, the plunge came with the first second-round pick.
Tillman’s final season at Tennessee was limited to six games by a left ankle injury, which eventually required surgery. But he had 37 receptions for 417 yards and three touchdowns in the games he played. In 2021 he had a nice season (64 catches for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns), highlighted by big games against Alabama (seven catches for 152 yards and a touchdown) and Georgia (10 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown).
Tillman has the size (6-foot-3, 213 pounds), competitive demeanor and overall skill set to be a very good NFL starter. The comp for him from Lance Zierlein of NFL.com is an easy one to like–Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman.
Any list of “my guys” in this year’s draft has Henley high on it, and I’m not the only one.
Henley had an interesting college career. Over four seasons at Nevada, he played wide receiver, kick returner, both safety spots and as a slot defender. He became a linebacker in 2020, and in 2021 he emerged with 94 tackles and four interceptions for the Wolfpack. Then he moved on to Washington State in 2022, and finished with 106 tackles (12 tackles for loss), four sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception last season.
Henley gets very high marks for his coverage ability (82.6 PFF coverage grade over the last two seasons), the energy he plays with and his sideline-to-sideline range. And based on numbers he posted over his last two college seasons, he’s not exactly a liability against the run. Knocks on him start with being on the small side (6-foot-1, 225 pounds), and continue to a lack of instincts or diagnosis ability–which feel rooted in a pure lack of experience playing linebacker. So there’s inherent upside in adding him.
Henley was an easy pick here in the second round.
Carter is in line to be the highest-drafted Army football player in decades. His best season in college was in 2021, when had 14.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He is a little undersized, in terms of mass (256 pounds). But there is the expectation he will easily add weight upon joining an NFL team, and a transition from looking like a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level to more of a 4-3 end/edge guy.
Carter is very…”traitsy”, at 6-foot-6 and-a-half with 33 and 3/8-inch arms.
To be frank, the board of available options in terms of good value was not great here with the way this simulation fell. So a reach for Carter came, in a bet on upside over plenty of less-exciting options to make an addition to the Lions’ edge rusher mix.