ESPN mock draft lands Lions underrated wide receiver who looks like perfect fit

In a new two-round mock from ESPN's Field Yates, the Lions land a sleeper wide receiver who might be a perfect fit.
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Now that we've crossed into April, mock drafts sometimes have to get unique. A two-round mock draft is not broadly unique in the mock draft industry, but ESPN's Field Yates stretched to that in his new mock this week (subscription required).

At No. 29 overall, Yates has the Detroit Lions taking Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean.

"Cornerback was already a priority for Detroit prior to the release of Cameron Sutton...and it now feels like an early must-have in the draft. DeJean would join former Iowa teammate (and 2023 first-rounder) Jack Campbell in Detroit and provide a boost to the Lions' secondary. He's springy with exceptional man coverage skills and on-ball production (seven INTs over the past two years). GM Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell would surely be drawn to DeJean's toughness and willingness as a tackler, two traits that also lead evaluators to think he could be the best safety in the class if he moved to that spot. But I view him as a corner -- and a really good one."

DeJean suffered a season-ending broken leg late last season, but he still won the top defensive back and return specialist honors for the Big Ten. He reportedly sent a letter to every NFL team saying he’s cleared for all football activities and would hold a workout with on-field testing on April 8 at Iowa.

DeJean has the kind of versatility the Lions covet, as he could play corner or safety in the NFL. Last season, opponents had just a 37.8 passer rating when throwing his direction. So if he's there at 29, he could be the guy.

Field Yates' mock draft has Lions landing a sleeper wide receiver

In the second round, at pick No. 61, Yates has the Lions taking Washington wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk.

"The Lions could certainly consider an edge defender at this point, but the draft's overall depth at that position is not great. Receiver feels like a potential hole opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown especially afterJosh Reynolds signed with Denver. Polk isn't a burner (4.53 in the 40 at the combine), but he has an excellent catch radius and is tough. He finished 2023 with 1,159 receiving yards."

Among wide receivers coming of the University of Washington this year, Rome Odunze is getting most of the buzz, and rightfully so. He's a potential top-10 pick, and if he falls past No. 15 it will be a shocker. But that also means Polk is falling below the radar, coming off a season where he top-10 in the Pac-12 in catches (69), yards (1,159), touchdowns (nine) and yards per catch (16.8).

Polk ran just 4.52 40 at the NFL Combine, but he also posted a 37.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9-inch high jump to show he has plenty of athletic chops. At 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, he gets high marks for his ball skills, contested catch ability, willingness to block and general fluidness. He also lined up outside and in the slot last season, and

Dane Brugler of The Athletic (subscription required) noted what he likes about Polk.

"Polk isn’t the flashiest or most polished receiver in these rankings, but he is a tough, consistent pass catcher with enough juice to threaten the defense,” My favorite part of his game is the adjustment skill he shows to bail out his quarterback on low-percentage throws -- perfect ball placement isn’t a requirement when he is the target.”

The Lions feel likely to turn to the draft for a wide receiver at this point. There are question marks on the depth chart after Amon-Ra St. Brown, with the hope Jameson Williams will emerge, Donovan Peoples-Jones largely a projection and Kalif Raymond coming off a knee injury that cost him the entire playoff run last year.

The Lions taking a wide receiver in the first round is a little aggressive for some people. Polk is a Day 2 guy (second/third round), and beyond that his skill set is exactly what the Lions should be looking for in a receiver.

Next. Ranking the Detroit Lions' last 10 first-round picks. Ranking the Detroit Lions' last 10 first-round picks. dark