Free agency isn’t done by any means, but the Detroit Lions have clearly made their biggest moves already. The addition of several new pieces on defense—including Jamie Collins Sr., Danny Shelton, and Reggie Ragland amongst many others.
With those key pieces added, suddenly the Lions’ true needs for the 2020 NFL Draft have come into focus.
But has all that much changed when it comes to Detroit’s third overall pick. The predominant pick prior to free agency was Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. And although the Lions added Desmond Trufant in free agency, they also moved Darius Slay to the Eagles.
So what are the mock drafts saying after the Lions’ free agency moves? Let’s look at the trends from the last two weeks of mock drafting.
3/20/20 - NFL.com (Lance Zierlein) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (6)
3/20/20 - Sports Illustrated (Kevin Hanson) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/21/20 - Freep (Dave Birkett) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/21/20 - CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons
3/24/20 - NFL.com (Charley Casserly) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/24/20 - Pewter Report (Jon Ledyard) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/24/20 - Touchdown Wire (Doug Farrar) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/24/20 - Houston Chronicle (John McClain, Aaron Wilson) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/25/20 - PFF (Michael Renner) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (5)
3/25/20 - CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
3/25/20 - Yahoo Sports (Eric Edholm) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/26/20 - Washington Post (John Clayton) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/26/20 - NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
3/26/20 - The Detroit News (Justin Rogers) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/27/20 - CBS Sports (Josh Edwards) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/29/20 - LA Times (Sam Farmer) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/29/20 - Draft Wire (Luke Easterling) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/30/20 - Chicago Tribune (Brad Biggs) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/30/20 - USA TODAY (Nate Davis) - **trade down** Auburn DT Derrick Brown (6)
3/30/20 - SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/30/20 - CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - **trade down** Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons (5)
3/30/20 - Touchdown Wire (Mark Schofield) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
3/31/20 - CBS Sports (Tom Fornelli) - **trade down** Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah (6)
3/31/20 - PFF (Steve Palazzolo) - Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
3/31/20 - Lions Wire (Jeff Risdon, Scott Bischoff) - Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
Jeff Okudah - 18 of 25 - 72% (up 4%)
Chase Young - 4 of 25 - 16% (no change)
Isaiah Simmons - 2 of 25 - 8% (down 4%)
Derrick Brown - 1 of 25 - 4% (no change)
Tua Tagovailoa - 0 of 25 - 0% (no change)
Surprisingly, free agency seems to have had almost no effect on how people are mocking the Detroit Lions. There was just an extremely minor tick up for Jeff Okudah, as expected. It came at the expense of Isaiah Simmons, which is understandable considering the major changes the Lions made at the linebacker level.
Elsewhere, the Tua Talk appears to be extremely dead when it comes to Detroit, and Derrick Brown remains a low probability since his poor showing at the NFL Combine.
5 of 25 - 20% (up 8%)
Trades were a little more common this time around, but the biggest change is that the Miami Dolphins are no longer the most common trade partner for the Lions. After the Los Angeles Chargers refused to upgrade their quarterback position in free agency, it’s become blatantly apparent they will pick a quarterback with their first-round pick at six overall. So several mockers had the Chargers getting aggressive to take the quarterback they like by trading up with the Lions. At six, two mock drafters still had the Lions taking Okudah, while one had Detroit landing Brown.
One other interesting note is that I saw a lot more mock drafts having either the Dolphins or Chargers jump up to the No. 2 pick, leaving the Lions with the option to take Chase Young at three. Although there were a few that had Detroit taking Okudah anyways.
Local results (Lions beat writers only)
Writers included: Justin Rogers, Dave Birkett, Jeff Risdon/Scott Bischoff, Kent Lee Platte
Jeff Okudah: 3 of 4 - 75%
Chase Young: 1 of 4 - 25%
The local beat remains relatively static. Almost every beat writer has the Lions taking Okudah with their first-round pick, but Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon remains convinced that Chase Young has a very good chance of being available at three.