With the NFL Combine ready to kick off its drills this week, it’s time to take a pre-Combine look at the world of mock drafts.
When we last checked in with our Mock Draft Tracker, Jeff Okudah was, by far, the most popular pick for Detroit. Over 80 percent of mocks had Okudah going to the Lions, whether with the third overall pick or via some sort of trade down scenario.
As I started to accumulate mock drafts from the most recent two weeks, it was apparent draft analysts are starting to open up to some new ideas. Okudah is still the most popular pick, but he’s nowhere near the consensus pick that he was just a couple weeks ago.
Here’s a look at our Mock Draft Tracker 3.0. In trade down scenarios, any picks used are indicated in parentheses after the selected players’ names.
2/11/20 - PFF (Michael Renner) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (5)
2/11/20 - MLive (Kyle Meinke) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
2/13/20 - CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
2/15/20 - The Draft Network (Trevor Sikkema) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
2/17/20 - The Draft Network (Benjamin Solak) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (7)
2/18/20 - ESPN (Mel Kiper Jr.) - Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
2/20/20 - The Draft Wire (Luke Easterling) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
2/20/20 - Touchdown Wire (Doug Farrar) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
2/21/20 - NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (5), Clemson WR Tee Higgins (26)
2/21/20 - The Ringer (Danny Kelly) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
2/24/20 - The Draft Network (Joe Marino) - Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
2/24/20 - PFF (Mike Renner, Austin Gayle) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
2/24/20 - The Athletic (full staff) - **trade down** Auburn DT Derrick Brown (6)
2/24/20 - SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
2/24/20 - Pewter Report (Jon Ledyard) - **trade down (twice)** Clemson LB/S Isaiah Simmons (7), Alabama CB Trevon Diggs
2/25/20 - NFL.com (Bucky Brooks) - Clemson LB/S Isaiah Simmons
2/25/20 - Sports Illustrated (Kevin Hanson) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (5)
2/25/20 - CBS Sports (R.J. White) - Auburn DT Derrick Brown
2/26/20 - CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (6)
2/26/20 - Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) - Clemson LB/S Isaiah Simmons
(Note: I’m not including the second first-round picks in some trade-down mocks)
Jeff Okudah - 9 of 20 - 45% (down 37%)
Derrick Brown - 3 of 20 - 15% (up 6%)
Chase Young - 3 of 20 - 15% (up 6%)
Isaiah Simmons - 3 of 20 - 15% (up 5%)
Tua Tagovailoa - 2 of 20 - 10% (up 10%)
There is now less of a consensus with mock drafters about the Lions’ pick, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the Lions’ secrecy (and their long list of needs). Okudah remains the most popular pick simply because no one can agree on what the Lions will do. Chase Young, Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons all garnered 15 percent of the picks, while two mock drafters were either convinced by the Matthew Stafford rumors, or think Detroit needs to start preparing for the future at quarterback. And they aren’t the only ones...
No real idea if it's happening but this has come up quite a bit in Indy - the concept of the Lions drafting Tua to sit a year behind Stafford https://t.co/1mXZ6HA2fw— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) February 27, 2020
7 of 20 - 35% (up 3%)
(Note: there are seven mocks with trades, but eight trades with teams because of the double trade down in Jon Ledyard’s mock)
Trading down remains a very popular option for the Lions. What’s interesting about this set of mocks is that it has the Lions trading down with a variety of teams. In our last tracker, the Lions traded down with the Dolphins in all seven trade scenarios. This latest batch had three different trade down targets in the Dolphins, Panthers and Chargers.
The most common return on the Lions’ trades is a pair of Day 2 picks. Here’s a look at the best and worst returns on trades.
Best (via Benjamin Solak)
- 3rd overall pick
- 7th overall pick (from Panthers)
- Second-round pick (38th overall)
- 2021 first-round pick
- 2021 fourth-round pick
- 2022 second-round pick
Worst (via The Athletic)
- 3rd overall pick
- 2020 fifth-round pick
- 6th overall pick (from Chargers)
- Second-round pick (37)
- Fifth-round pick
- 2021 fourth-round pick
Local results (Lions beat writers only)
Writers included: Kyle Meinke
Chase Young: 1 of 1 - 100%
There is only one new mock from the local beat and it comes from MLive’s Kyle Meinke a few weeks ago. He is of the belief that Young will fall to the Lions at third overall. The reasoning is simple: the Dolphins don’t trade up with the Lions, they trade up for Washington’s second overall pick. Miami takes Tua Tagovailoa, as expected, and—boom—Chase Young at three.