With the Detroit Lions hosting a playoff game for the first time in 30 years, and all the angles that are present (Matthew Stafford's return, Jared Goff facing his former team), most fans would rather not talk about April's draft just yet.
But there are 2024 mock drafts constantly out there, and when it's interesting on the Lions' front we'll bring it to the forefront.
A list of current 2024 draft needs for the Lions surely starts with some areas on the defensive side of the ball, and edge rusher is a big one. Aidan Hutchinson was the only edge rusher that did much of anything during the regular season, and finding him some help has to be a priority.
Of course the Lions will pick fairly late in the first round of April's draft, to be determined by how many (any) playoff games they win. A large contingent of current projections have them picking at No. 28.
Several mock drafts tying Detroit Lions to an Aidan Hutchinson clone
Of the current mock drafts where the Lions are picking at 28, a big portion also have them taking a particular player. For purposes of being concise, let's focus on Pro Football Focus and Fantasy Pros.
Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus is first up with that particular player-Washington edge rusher Bralen Trice-going to the Lions at No. 28.
"Some prospects perfectly fit a team’s personality, and that is the case here with Trice on a Dan Campbell squad. At 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, Trice possesses a motor that runs hot at all times. He gives everything he has (usually with power) on every snap, and it earned him 76 quarterback pressures this season. Him on one side and Hutchinson on the other would be a long day at the office for opposing offensive tackles."
Next is Mike Fanelli of Fantasy Pros, who also noted Hutchinson's presence.
Aidan Hutchinson has become one of the NFL’s best pass rushers in his second year. However, he accounted for 28.1% of Detroit’s sacks this season and was the only edge rusher with more than two. Trice has had at least seven sacks in back-to-back years, including two in the college football playoff game against Texas.
Along with 16 sacks over the last two seasons (nine in 2022, seven this year), Trice added 12 and 11.5 tackles for loss respectively in those seasons. As a high-motor player, and as Sikkema noted, he would clearly fit the mold as a "Dan Campbell guy." Apart from his talent, Hutchinson has a high-motor too. Pairing Trice with him would be a headache for opposing offensive tackles.
The Lions value fit and intangible qualities, arguably more than sheer talent. Trice seems to fit that bill, and he'd also be an injection of talent to an area of need.