Mel Kiper has Detroit Lions bolstering offense in new mock draft

In his new mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper has the Detroit Lions adding an offensive weapon.

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A week-plus into the offseason, the Detroit Lions have meticulously checked some boxes. Cornerback? (Carlton Davis, Amik Robertson). Edge rusher? (Marcus Davenport). Defensive tackle? (DJ Reader). Guard, if Jonah Jackson left? (Kevin Zeitler).

Looking toward April's draft, the Lions are legitimately in a position to take the best player available in the first round. There has been some buzz (full h/t to Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports as the leader of that pack) about them taking a wide receiver with pick No. 29.

In his new mock draft, out on Tuesday, ESPN's Mel Kiper (subscription required) joined the "wide receiver to the Lions at No. 29" bandwagon.

Lions add interesting offensive weapon in Mel Kiper's new mock draft

South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette was Kiper's pick for the Lions at 29.

"How good is this Detroit roster? General manager Brad Holmes has done a stellar job since he was hired in 2021. He filled the Lions' biggest offseason hole with the trade for underrated cornerback Carlton Davis, which gives him some flexibility here. I'd like to see the Lions add another playmaker for quarterback Jared Goff."

"Legette is rising in my rankings after he ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash and tested well in the other drills at the combine. While I will quibble with South Carolina for listing him at 6-foot-3 when he's actually 6-foot-1, I won't hold that against him. He had a fantastic 2023 season, with 1,255 receiving yards while averaging 17.7 yards per catch. He dominated cornerbacks on crossing routes, lining up in the slot and outside. This is a way to keep improving the Detroit offense."

The Lions met with Legette at the NFL Combine, so they seem to have some level of interest in him. The one potential thing is his having just one year of college production, but as Kiper noted it was a nice season when opportunity was matched with an NFL prospect at quarterback (Spencer Rattler). Per Pro Football Focus, he had just two drops on 97 targets last season.

Legette might be a slight reach in the first round, based on general mock draft consensus. But he is a rising prospect, and general manager Brad Holmes doesn't go with the popular consensus in the draft.

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