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

In a fresh four-round mock draft, the Detroit Lions focus on the side of the ball that needs the most help this offseason.

Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Second Round, No. 61 Overall: T'Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas

An edge rusher was naturally on the radar here, but Sweat was impossible to turn away from when he was available.

The 2023 Outland Trophy winner is simply a massive man (6-foot-4, 350 pounds), which naturally makes him, in scouting parlance, a "space eater" in the run game. But he also seems to have some untapped upside as pass rusher, credited with 28 pressures, 23 hurries to go with his two sacks last season for the Longhorns. He also displayed ability and instincts when it comes to batting down passes, with 11 over his last three college seasons.

Sweat may not really fall this far into the second round, and into Detroit's laps. But he is a Day 1 starter to beef up the defensive line, and he may be worth trading up for if he falls into the second round far enough.

Third Round, Pick No. 73 Overall: Austin Booker, EDGE, Kansas

After redshirting in 2021 then barely in 2022 for Minnesota, Booker transferred to Kansas and got his opportunity in 2023. He took advantage of it, finishing with eight sacks, 56 total tackles and 12 tackles for loss last season.

Booker is well-regarded for his length, motor, agility, change of direction and how he finishes plays. But he definitely could stand to add some bulk (240 pounds), and he has development to do in some aspects based on simple lack of playing experience. He may have benefited greatly from another year in college.

Booker has the traits to become a real difference maker in the NFL. He may become a big draft riser coming out of the combine, but here in the third round he's a good pick for the Lions.