The 2022-23 Super Bowl is set and that means NFL Mock Draft season is heating up.
Mark Schofield—one of the best quarterback evaluator’s in the draft community and someone I trust when establishing my quarterback rankings—penned a pre-Super Bowl mock draft for our mothership SB Nation site, and he gave the Detroit Lions some much-needed help on the defensive side of the ball.
Let’s jump right in.
Pick No. 6: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Schofield has some thoughts on the Lions quarterback situation in his article, but I only pulled the quote on Bresse for this companion piece. Here are Schofield’s thoughts on the Clemson defensive tackle:
“Bresee is athletic, explosive, and has the versatility to play almost anywhere along the defensive front. You might see him anywhere from a 0-technique right over the center, to a two-point stance outside the tackle. He dealt with some injuries while at Clemson, but dropping him into the Lions’ defense, with Aidan Hutchinson on the outside is the kind of move that Dan Campbell might bang the table for this spring.”
We’ve been tracking mock drafts in our weekly Lions mock draft roundup series, and for the last several weeks, Breese has been the most popular player projected to Detroit. In last week’s roundup, we looked at 17 mock drafts:
- Eight of them paired the Lions with a defensive tackle in the first round.
- Seven of them paired the Lions with a defensive tackle at pick No. 6.
- Bresee was the pick in six of those seven.
It’s easy to understand the appeal of Bresee. At 6-foot-6, 316 pounds, he has the size, speed, and length the Lions look for in their defensive linemen. His stats were lower this year, which has caused some trepidation with some evaluators, but he was dealing with some very tough issues this past year, including coming off an ACL injury, a kidney infection, and the tragic passing of his 15-year-old sister Ella, who lost her battle with brain cancer.
While Bresee is currently getting mixed reviews, Schofield’s next selection is a home run that should make (almost) everyone happy.
Pick No. 18: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Schofield’s reasoning for the pairing is simple and accurate:
“Watch Devon Witherspoon play.
“Listen to maybe five minutes of Dan Campbell.
Witherspoon is another popular pairing with the Lions in mock drafts—including landing in Detroit five times in last week’s roundup—and for good reason. He plays with the fire, intensity, and passion Campbell looks for in his players. His press-man coverage experience and physicality against the run will surely appeal to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Simply put, he embodies what the Lions are about.
Would Devon Witherspoon fit in Detroit?— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) January 21, 2023
Exhibit A is at the bottom of the screen —> pic.twitter.com/XWBb4595d3
Devon Witherspoon exhibit B —> pic.twitter.com/72Er7HAngW— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) January 21, 2023
Devon Witherspoon— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) January 21, 2023
Exhibit C —> pic.twitter.com/pK13RDvIwk