Detroit Lions fans want to focus on the "business at hand" going into the playoffs. But in due time it will be the offseason, with free agency, the draft and all the analysis and speculation attached to those things.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes has drafted well, which has been the core of a fast rebuild. Even with a later first-round pick than he has had previously this year, that draft track record will surely continue to be built.
Where the Lions will have their first-round in April is obviously to be determined by how they do in the playoffs. But several mock drafts right now have them picking at No. 28 overall, and the most recent seven-rounder from Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network ahead of the Wild Card Round is included.
Some of the selections for the Lions (and maybe other teams) are as if Mellor forgot who he had teams taking previously. Some of the Lions' picks are interesting though (Michigan cornerback Mike Sainristil, North Carolina wide receiver Devontez Walker).
But Mellor started the mock proceedings for Detroit off the rails.
Pro Football Network mock draft has Detroit Lions going absurd way in first round
With the 28th overall pick, Mellor has the Lions taking....
28) Detroit Lions: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
Come for the ridiculous mock draft pick, stay for the lame justification.
Jared Goff has brought the Detroit Lions back to the NFL Playoffs, and has just one year left on his massive contract. Who better to get in as his eventual replacement than the new-found Michigan kid and proven winner J.J. McCarthy?
McCarthy is fresh off a national championship-winning season with the Michigan Wolverines and has become a part of Michigan folklore in doing so. The Lions don’t have to rush him onto the field and can build out his confidence and knowledge of the offense as he continues to develop as a player. That’s a win-win.
By all indications, from Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell as well as Jared Goff's agent now, the Lions' current signal caller won't be going anywhere for a while. And there's already a young developmental "don't have to rush him onto the field" quarterback prospect in place with Hendon Hooker.
Mellor tries to tap into the "Michigan kid", "former Wolverine" "Michigan folklore" thing as if it's relevant. It was an added layer with Aidan Hutchinson in 2022, aside from his being one of the best players in that draft. McCarthy might not even be, and shouldn't even be, a first-round pick this year. Having the Lions draft a quarterback in the first round is one thing, but at least give them one who's worthy if you're going to do it.
On the "must have forgotten who he had teams draft" thing, Mellor had the Lions taking two more quarterbacks before this seven-round mock was done. Seven-round mocks that include every team are hard, but it shouldn't be that hard to go back over things when you've just listed names after Round 1. So the whole mock can be rendered ridiculous based on that, but the pick of McCarthy at No. 28 to the Lions was a key ingredient in that cake.