Since the season ended, it seems like Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah was destined to be the Detroit Lions’ pick at third overall. While many fans clung to hope that Washington would pass on Okudah’s teammate, defensive end Chase Young, leaving the pass rusher to land in Detroit, Okudah would be a nice consolation prize for a team that hasn’t been able to stop an opposing quarterback since September.
But there’s a new trend emerging among mock drafts in the past week or so.
I took a look at 20 of the most prominent, most recent mock drafts around the football mediasphere to see what people were thinking of the Lions’ third overall pick. Here are the results.
12/26/20 - ESPN’s (Todd McShay) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/12/20 - The Draft Network (Benjamin Solak) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/14/20 - Draft Wire (Luke Easterling) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/14/20 - PFF (Michael Renner) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/14/20 - The Athletic (Dane Brugler) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/15/20 - Yahoo Sports (Eric Edholm) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/16/20 - The Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
1/20/20 - The Draft Network (Joe Marino) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/21/20 - SI.com (Kevin Hanson) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/21/20 - SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
1/21/20 - NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/22/20 - Fake Teams (Peter Rogers) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
1/22/20 - Draft Tek - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
1/23/20 - CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/24/20 - ESPN (Mel Kiper) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/24/20 - Fox Sports (Jason McIntyre) - Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons
1/25/20 - Heavy.com (Vinny Somma) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
1/27/20 - The Draft Network (Trevor Sikkema) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown (trade down to 7)
1/27/20 - CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
1/27/20 - Bleacher Report (Joe Tansey) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
Jeff Okudah - 13 of 20 - 65%
Derrick Brown - 6 of 20 - 30%
Isaiah Simmons - 1 of 20 - 5%
While Jeff Okudah remains the most popular pick for the Lions by a landslide, you may notice that the most recent mock drafts are starting to become a little more diverse. Maybe this is just a natural reaction to a month’s worth of the same pick—writers trying to stand out and all—but you can see some people opening up to some other ideas.
After Isaiah Simmons’ impressive National Championship game, his name has grown in popularity among Lions fans, but only one writer has had him climb all the way to No. 3. The biggest question with Simmons remains his exact fit in the NFL and if it would be compatible with what the Lions are attempting to do on defense.
As for Derrick Brown, he has remained in the conversation from the beginning, but he seems to have grown in popularity as of late. Taking just the mock drafts from the last week, Brown is almost as popular of a pick as Okudah.
Jeff Okudah: 7 of 13
Derrick Brown: 5 of 13
Isaiah Simmons: 1 of 13
Brown is a talented player that can both two-gap as a run defender and provide some pass rush as a surprisingly athletic big man. It’s easy to see the Lions falling in love with him. It will be interesting to see if South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw gains any ground on Brown as the draft’s No. 1 interior defender after a solid performance at the Senior Bowl.