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Mock Draft round up: 5 favorites emerge as the offseason enters March

More of the same but with one big (skill) difference

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Georgia vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

In last week’s mock draft round up, we saw the Detroit Lions beat writers jump into the mix, offering their thoughts on where the team should go with the No. 7 overall selection. There was quite a bit of variance overall, but the beat typically focused on five main players.

This week, the focus appears to still be on those five main players, with only one less common connection—though, based on coach Dan Campbell’s comments this past week, this player may start being connected with the Lions more in the future.

Let’s take a look at the projections from this past week.

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Currently being mocked by Dan Schmelzer (NFL Mocks), Tankathon Staff

Schmelzer: “The Lions must be open to landing a long-term franchise quarterback this offseason and Trey Lance out of North Dakota State stands out as a strong fit. With Lance available when the Lions go on the clock at No. 7 in this 2021 NFL mock draft, this pick is relatively easy.”

At this stage of the process, most mock draft projectors have Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Justin Fields off the board by the time the Lions are on the clock. If they believe the Lions will grab a quarterback of the future, Lance is consistently the guy.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Currently being mocked by Trevor Sikkema (The Draft Network), Tommy Garrett (Pro Football Network), Pro Football Network Staff

Sikkema: “The Lions could go a number of different directions here, as their roster is bad. But picture this: franchise tag Kenny Golladay and draft Ja’Marr Chase. If this happens, Jared Goff owes me some Lions merch. The Lions can hit trenches, linebacker, and secondary later on Day 2.”

Sikkema’s draft was a three-rounder and had the Lions grabbing Samuel Cosmi (OT, Texas) in the second round, Pete Werner (LB, Ohio State) with the first third-round pick, and Shaun Wade (DB, Ohio State) with the second third-round pick.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Currently being mocked by Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports), Matthew Tabeek (AtlantaFalcons.com), Matthew Freedman (Action Network), Doug Hyde (DraftTek)

Trapasso: “The Lions could go quarterback, but new GM Brad Holmes was with Jared Goff in Los Angeles for years. He with rides him for a season or two and addresses the receiver spot with Smith.”

Once the most popular player paired with the Lions, the Smith hype has slowed recently in favor of the other two top-10 level receivers.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Currently being mocked by Jeff Risdon (Lions Wire), Josh Edwards (CBS Sports), Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports), Matthew Valdovinos (PFN), Damian Parson (The Crocker Report), Scott Smith (The Action Network)

Risdon: “Three things to like about Waddle: Can line up at any WR spot and move around the formation. Incredible top-end speed and very good body control at full gallop, NFL-ready route running, especially on deeper routes. I chose him over Heisman-winning teammate, DeVonta Smith, because Waddle offers more as a vertical threat and a little more size.”

The most mocked player to the Lions this week, the hype around Waddle is growing.

Kyle Pitts, Big Skill, Florida

Currently being mocked by UK Draft staff

UK Draft: “My initial reaction to the Lions trading away Matthew Stafford and acquiring Jared Goff was that if the Lions had a shot at one of the top quarterbacks in this draft then they’d absolutely be taking him here with this pick. The more I reflect however, the more I believe Goff will be the Lions starter in 2021 and that they’ll go elsewhere with this draft choice.”

Based on Campbell’s comments this week, the evolution of the TE position could have the Lions in the market for another “big skill” and that means Pitts should be in the conversation.

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Currently being mocked by Cynthia Frelund (NFL.com), Chad Reuter (NFL.com), Cody Benjamin (CBS Sports), Mike Tagliere (Fantasy Pros)

Frelund: “Parsons, who opted out in 2020, had the best marks in my college model in 2019 for run-game efficiency (measured by how many yards opponents gained on run plays while within 10 yards of Parsons). He also has strong blitz and pressure potential, as measured by how often he got past the defensive front when asked to blitz (he was in the top 10 percent among LBs of his type when blitzing).”

Reuter: “Parsons plays with the toughness that head coach Dan Campbell promised his team would display during his initial press conference as the Lions’ leader. He also has the athleticism to become a playmaker whether lined up in the middle or on the outside, just like Tampa Bay starter Devin White. For this mock, I’ll assume the team will use the franchise tag on receiver Kenny Golladay and address a need on defense with this selection.”

Not mocked to the Lions this week

Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon), Azeez Ojulari (JACK, Georgia), and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB, Notre Dame) were mocked to the Lions in last week’s round-up but were not a part of any notable mock drafts this week. Most believe Sewell will be off the board by pick No. 7, while the other two are typically selected later in round one.