In the wake of the 2023 NFL Draft, here are the 5 biggest winners for the Detroit Lions.
With the 2023 NFL Draft over, for a couple weeks at this point, NFL teams have added pretty much anyone notable their going to add this offseason. The Detroit Lions may add a quarterback with some level of name recognition, but even that is unclear for them in terms of a needle-mover.
So we pretty much know who will be on the Lions’ roster through OTAs, minicamp and training camp, with veteran defensive lineman Christian Covington signed this past week. Any further additions, for the most part, with be filler or depth to get through the offseason.
So as we determined the biggest post-draft losers for the Lions, we can also go to the positive side and declare the biggest post-draft winners for them.
So who benefited most from what was done, or maybe not done, by the Lions in the 2023 NFL Draft?
The 5 biggest post-draft winners for the Detroit Lions
5. DT Levi Onwuzurike
Onwuzurike, due to a lingering back injury that hampered him as a rookie and cost him all of his second season in 2022, is on a fast track to being a draft bust–albeit “only” as a second-round pick in the first draft of general manager Brad Holmes.
At the league meetings back in March, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, head coach Dan Campbell’s injury update on Onwuzurike was not promising. Truly, there appeared to just not be much to say.
"We talked to him a couple of weeks ago, he was doing good, the rehab has gone well, but you just don’t know. You don’t know with a back. But I mean certainly, he’s going to get an opportunity if the body will allow it.”"
The Lions drafted defensive tackle Brodric Martin in the third round. But the big man out of Western Kentucky clearly profiles as a nose tackle, not a 3-technique like Onwuzurike would be in line to be.
The Lions could have used a more premium draft pick on someone to effectively replace Onwuzurike. But they didn’t, so we’ll see what that means (if anything) regarding his health and the chance to earn a substantial role this year.
However tentatively overall, due to ongoing questions about the condition of his back, Onwuzurike is a post-draft winner in the big picture for the Lions. They don’t seem quite ready to give up on him.