2025 mock draft has Lions quickly punting on future potential of Giovanni Manu

Giovanni Manu is seemingly being groomed as a future starter for the Lions, but a 2025 mock draft throws that idea out the window very early.

The Detroit Lions made the first of two trades up in the fourth round of this year's draft to take University of British Columbia offensive lineman Giovanni Manu. Mostly a left tackle by trade north of the border in college, Manu revealed a plan to move him to guard, and to right guard.

Assistant general manager Ray Agnew walked back Manu's words by suggesting, however obviously, that Manu would be "cross-trained" at multiple positions. With no urgency to have him start this season, there's some developmental runway here.

Whatever spot he settles in at, the Lions seem to expect Manu to be a starter on their offensive line down the road. Maybe even in 2025.

The Lions have a great offensive line. But how it will look in the future is a legit question. Left tackle Taylor Decker is entering the final year of his contract. Kevin Zeitler is 34 years old and on a one-year deal. Graham Glasgow will turn 32 later this month. When we're looking at the situation in 2026, three or four starters could be different than they are today.

2025 mock draft pick has Lions punting on Giovanni Manu

Ian Valentino of AtoZ Sports and The 33rd Team has put up a 2025 first-round mock draft. A late mock draft he had this year suggested there was "more buzz than anticipated" around the Lions trading Decker and replacing him with this year's first-round pick.

With the 27th overall pick in his new first-round 2025 mock, Valentino has the Lions taking Arkansas offensive tackle Fernando Carmona Jr.

"Taylor Decker's future is muddied, so the Detroit Lions won't wait too long to add a more viable replacement than 2024 fourth-round flier Giovanni Manu."

"Fernando Carmona Jr. brings a similar level of toughness and physicality as Decker. The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder would seamlessly fit into Detroit's culture."

It feels like a formality that the Lions will agree to a contract extension with Decker, even just a year or two, with him still playing well and to buy time for whatever the succession plan for him will be. But until it's done, his future in Detroit is up in the air.

Playing at San Jose State before transferring to Arkansas last December, Carmona was a top-20 graded college offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus last year (81.5 overall grade), with a top-20 run blocking grade (78.9). He exclusively played left tackle the last two seasons, and he will do so for the Razorbacks this year.

The idea of Penei Sewell moving to left tackle once Decker moves on or retires has been out there. But that doesn't really deserve mention in the context of taking a left tackle like Carmona in the 2025 draft, even in a mock draft. Carmona, or someone of his left tackle ilk, could be Decker's seamless successor next year if it's needed.

The most likely scenario still seems to be signing Decker to a short extension, and continuing to develop who might take his place along the offensive line. In that context, Sewell eventually moving to the left side is alive and well.

A first-round offensive tackle next year would mean Decker is not back. In the background of that idea is the development of Colby Sorsdal between now and then. But the clear headline is what that pick would say about Manu.

It would push the notion the Lions are punting on Manu's development after giving up a 2025 third-round pick to get him, which is very unlikely to see happening right now. If that happens (giving up on Manu so quickly), and it's a massive, hypothetical 'if' right now...the doubters about the selection of Manu will be proven right.

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