Daniel Jeremiah mock draft has Detroit Lions addressing possible need with surprising player

The Lions could have a surprising major need area by draft time, and Daniel Jeremiah has them addressing it with a surprising player in his new mock.
G Fiume/GettyImages

For a lot of people, it should be defense (more specifically cornerback or edge rusher) or bust for the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. But there is an angle for another need, with their top three guards (Jonah Jackson, Graham Glasgow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai) free agents.

Vaitai might retire, and while it seems unlikely Jackson and Glasgow would both be gone, it is possible. The Lions would certainly add someone in free agency to fill one or both of those voids if they happen, but to what extent financially that will happen is a question right now.

So at some point in the first two days of the draft, with four top-100 picks, a guard/interior offensive lineman could be on the Lions radar. Maybe as depth right away, or maybe as an immediate starter. We already know some names who could be in play in the first three rounds: Jackson Powers-Johnson (Oregon), Graham Barton (Duke), Christian Haynes (UConn), Cooper Beebe (Kansas State), Christian Mahogony (Boston College), Zak Zinter (Michigan).

Daniel Jeremiah mock draft has Lions addressing a possible need with surprising player

With the NFL Combine coming next week, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah is out with his second mock draft for 2024. Cornerbacks went off the board quickly between picks 13 and 22, and even in a deep class at the position that's not ideal for the Lions at pick 29.

So an edge rusher? How about Powers-Johnson, who could move to guard in the NFL seamlessly, should they have a need (Powers-Johnson was gone at No. 21 for Jeremiah).

At No. 29, Jeremiah has the Lions taking West Virginia center/guard Zach Frazier.

"The Lions’ starting guards are scheduled to reach free agency this offseason, and this feels like Dan Campbell’s type of player. Frazier, a state-champion wrestler in high school, could step right in at guard and eventually move to center."

Frazier started his college career at left guard before moving to center. He is listed as a center as he moves to the next level, of course, but a transition back to guard would be in play depending on the team that drafts him. The utility to eventually move to center, as Jeremiah hinted at, would tab him as the potential successor to Frank Ragnow for the Lions.

Ragnow isn't retiring this offseason, but how many more seasons he will play is a big question due to the litany of injuries he dealt with this past season.

Frazier is not widely seen as a first-round pick, but he does sneak into Day 1 in a stray mock draft here and there. It wouldn't necessarily be a massive reach for the Lions to take him at No. 29, and it also wouldn't be a surprise if he's a little higher on the Lions' draft board compared to a lot of other teams.

Next. Detroit Lions 4-round mock draft: Building up the defense with focused intention. Detroit Lions 4-round mock draft: Building up the defense with focused intention. dark