On Feb. 22, I posted my mock draft here. After two days, my pick for #6 remains unchanged: Brian Branch. If anything, the case for Branch here has been made stronger over the past two days. By addressing some clear needs, Brad Holmes is in a freer position to draft BPA, and that’s what Branch is. He’s the best tackler in this year’s draft class, and would be an improvement over DeShon Elliott (a player I like) for a lower price. He could line up with Kerby Joseph and Tracy Walker when the Lions want three safeties on the field, and he could split time in the slot with Cam Sutton and Will Harris.
At pick #18, while I was considering several enticing possibilities at different positions last month, I’ve come to settle on Jaxon Smith-Njiba as being the best choice here. He would be an improvement (at a lower cost) over DJ Chark. The Lions would have at least 3 years of Jamo, Jaxon and Saint together tormenting opposing defenses. JSN’s rookie contract would be a bargain compared to what WRs are receiving in FA.
At #48, let’s add to the DL. I’d go here for either "Tommy" Adebawore (he has the athleticism the Lions are looking for) or Keeanu Benton, who has the size the Lions say they want.
At #55, Daiyan Henley. Jack Campbell is my LB #1, but he should be long gone by this point, but the highly athletic Henley would strengthen the LB room.
At #81, I’d look either for a guard (although I would prefer Holmes to add a guard in FA) or look for D’Andre Swift’s eventual replacement. If Devon Achane, Zach Charbonnet, Tyjae Spears, or DeWayne McBride happen to fall this far, that would be good value. (Can you imagine Achane on the field at the same time as Jamo, Jaxon, and Saint? What a potent passing attack!)
On Day 3, #152 let’s go for depth and girth at DT, selecting Texas’ 332-pound NT Keondre Coburn.
#183 depth at CB: Purdue’s Corey Trice or Virginia’s Anthony Johnson
#194 developmental QB: Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell, Houston’s Clayton Tune, or Georgia’s Stetson Bennett (if he doesn’t have an ongoing drinking problem).