Just yesterday, Mel Kiper updated his mock draft projection over at the Worldwide Leader, assigning an athletic linebacker to the Detroit Lions at the twelfth overall pick after trading down with the San Francisco 49ers. The hypothetical move passes on taking Ohio State’s Justin Fields (the Niners’ selection), but do the rest of the experts agree the Lions would skip taking a future franchise quarterback? Let’s get caught up on what the mock drafts around the Internet are saying.
CBS Sports puts all of their experts’ mock drafts in one place, and all four of them have the Lions staying at seventh overall but selecting something other than a quarterback in mocks updated today. Ryan Wilson has the Lions going offensive line, Chris Trapasso assigns them a different linebacker not named Micah Parsons, while both Josh Edwards and Pete Prisco give the team a wide receiver. Of the four mocks, Wilson still had North Dakota State’s Trey Lance on the board at the seventh pick, Trapasso still had Fields on the board, and Prisco had both Lance and Fields still on the board for the Lions to pass on. Only Edwards gave the Lions no option to select one of the top quarterback prospects.
It seems like wide receiver and linebacker are the two team needs that the mock draft consensus is drifting towards. The Draft Network’s Drae Harris posted his fifth mock draft on Thursday, and he also has the Lions passing on Trey Lance to take a linebacker. NFL Network’s Charley Casserly also posted a mock draft yesterday showing the Lions passing on Fields at seven to take a linebacker. Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News in a mock posted Friday has the Lions passing on both Fields and Lance to take an Alabama wide receiver. Pro Football Network’s staff simulation similarly has the Lions passing on Lance to select a wide receiver.
Where will the quarterbacks go? Nearly all of the mock drafts from Thursday and Friday linked above have the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Trevor Lawrence first overall and the New York Jets picking Zach Wilson second overall. The divergence among the mock drafters is really over whether the Atlanta Falcons will select a cornerback or quarterback. Scenarios in which the Lions lose out on all of the top quarterback options generally have the Carolina Panthers trading up into the top five to take whichever quarterback the Falcons do not.
Unless something unexpected happens during the upcoming free agency, it looks like the draft experts agree with Justin Rogers that the Lions will not target a quarterback with their first-round pick. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- It’s definitely possible that the Lions have no choice but to take something other than a quarterback. Both Ben Raven and Kyle Meinke (which we mentioned yesterday) at MLive have the Lions picking a wide receiver in their mock drafts. All four top quarterbacks were already off the board by the Lions’ pick in these mocks.
- Speaking of drafting linebackers, MLive’s Ben Raven wrote about five linebackers the Lions might be interested in (and three of them are not projected first-round players).
- Gary Klein at the Los Angeles Times asked Rams coach Sean McVay about what happened with Jared Goff:
“As a coach, as a leader, your job is to try to make situations and people you’re around better, and there are certainly some moments that I know I could have done better really for our team and for Jared in particular.” https://t.co/V4f5L25779— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) February 26, 2021
- According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Tom Pelissero, the NFL Players Association’s executive director DeMaurice Smith encouraged players to share information to help each other gain leverage in contract negotiations under a reduced salary cap in 2021.
- SiriusXM Radio had an interview with Packers center Corey Linsley, who looks like he may be heading to free agency. How big of a deal is it if Linsley leaves Green Bay?
We agree with you there— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) February 25, 2021
Highest grades Cs in 2020:
1. Corey Linsley - 89.9 OVR
2. Frank Ragnow - 80.3 OVR
Both had career-years last season https://t.co/Ym7mta81TZ
- Jeff Risdon over at Lions Wire assembled a list of 12 low-cost free agents who may appeal to the cap-strapped Detroit Lions.
- Pro Football Network’s Mike Tanier sifted through 2020 data to find the players with the most action late in lopsided games. Note that the players in question could be on teams losing a lot of points or winning by a lot of points. No surprise that the 2020 Detroit Lions featured one of the top quarterbacks and one of the top wide receivers in non-competitive production. However, Stat Padford was NOT the top dog: