After seeing wide receivers heavily mocked to the Detroit Lions for a little over a month, things opened up in last week’s mock draft round up with quarterbacks, offensive tackles, and trades finding their way into the mix.
With less than two week before the NFL Draft, the variety trend continues. There were eight different players mocked to the Lions this week, four of them landed with the Lions at pick No. 7, one of them was paired to the Lions both at No. 7 and in a trade, and three were only options via a trade. Of the 28 mocks collected, seven of them had the Lions trading down—that’s a cool 25 percent of the time.
Let’s take a look at this past week’s mock drafts, see how things have changed.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Williamson: “The Lions very well could be high on Jared Goff, but this new front office and coaching staff are working on long-term contracts and have to think big picture. This rebuild in Detroit isn’t going to happen overnight. So why not start with an ultra-talented quarterback in Justin Fields and see where it goes from there?”
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Currently being mocked by Evan Silva (Establish the run), Charles Davis (NFL.com), Trevor Sikkema (The Draft Network), Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports), Nick Farabaugh (Pro Football Network), Anthony Broome (Maize and Brew), David Dorey (The Huddle)
Silva: “Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams would be the Lions’ Nos. 1 and 2 receivers if the season began today. Chase is a high-percentage bet at an obvious position of need and a long-term building block for talent-starved Detroit at one of pro football’s most needle-moving positions.”
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Currently being mocked Jonathan Jones (CBS Sports) after a trade back with the Broncos, Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports) after a trade back with the Broncos, Josh Edwards (CBS Sports) after a trade back with the New England Patriots, Matthew Freedman (Action Network), Cory Bonini (The Huddle)
Jones: “I badly wanted to trade down again in this mock with new GM Brad Holmes, considering his track record with the Rams. Ultimately, though, Jared Goff needs someone to throw to other than Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman at wideout.”
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Farrar: “The Lions could get aggressive here and move up for Jared Goff’s eventual successor, but no matter who quarterbacks the Lions in 2021 and beyond, they’re going to need receivers, and Goff is REALLY going to need estimable targets if he’s to succeed at any level. So, let’s give Goff the most refined route-runner and speed receiver in the class in Smith. There are those who are concerned about Smith’s ability to beat NFL press coverage as an X-iso receiver, but the tape shows a target who’s quick enough off the line, and certainly has the acceleration upfield, to erase such concerns. Detroit lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones in free agency, leaving them with Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams, and Quintez Cephus as Goff’s main receivers. The need is clear, and Smith has what it takes to fill it.”
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Currently being mocked by Matt Valdovinos (Pro Football Network) after a trade down with Washington for picks No. 19, 51, and 124, as well as a first and third in 2022.
Valdovinos: “The Lions passed on the opportunity to take Jaylen Waddle when they traded back with Washington, but they still get a top receiver at 19. Rashod Bateman would instantly become the Lions’ top receiving option, and with Anthony Lynn, he’ll be in a role similar to Keenan Allen. Bateman could be one of the most productive rookie receivers in the scenario, thanks to a lack of competition for targets in Detroit. Jared Goff gets his No. 1 target, and Detroit receives draft capital to move up for their guy in 2022.”
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Edholm: “Last time around, I had Penn State LB Micah Parsons here, a player they’ll have a high regard for. But with Sewell on the board, I am not sure the Lions would pass on him. Would they move Taylor Decker to right tackle? Not initially. Sewell could be the right tackle and slide over to the left side in a few years if needed.”
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Currently being mocked by Ryan Mathews (Pride of Detroit) after a trade back with the Broncos
Mathews: “Slater lacks some of the measurables, historically, for offensive tackles in the NFL at 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, but the guy has every bit of athleticism—and then some—to be given the chance to play outside. If he has to move inside and play guard, he’s got all the tools to be an All Pro level talent there, too.”
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Jones-Drew: “The Lions trade back and still get the guy they want. Parsons is a sideline-to-sideline ‘backer who can cover and hit. Just what his kneecap-biting head coach desires.”