When we last checked in with our 2023 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions had made their first selection in the second round. Temporary Lions general manager Erik Schlitt has now come out of the mock draft with this haul in his first three picks:
- Pick 6: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
- Pick 18: OL Darnell Wright, Tennessee
- Pick 48: DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin
The Lions are back on the clock at Pick 55, but before we get into the best candidates for that pick, let’s look at the picks made in between by our POD commenters, who are acting as general manager for individual teams.
49. Steelers: S JL Skinner
50. Buccaneers: OT Jaelyn Duncan
51. Dolphins: G Steve Avila
52. Seahawks: LB Drew Sanders
53. Bears: DT Gervon Dexter
54. Chargers: LB Daiyan Henley
(You can see every pick made thus far by heading to our 2023 Community Mock Draft tracker.)
Of the candidates we outlined for the 48th overall pick, only two are gone: Benton, who Schlitt selected at 48, and linebacker Drew Sanders, who went to the Seahawks at 52.
So here’s a reminder of the candidates from earlier, along with a couple new names.
Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker
The fifth quarterback on most analysts’ big boards is still available. But is the bet on athletic traits and crazy college production worth the risk when it comes to Hooker’s age (25), injury status (torn ACL), and the fact that he comes from a very basic offense at Tennessee?
UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet
With Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs off the board, getting RB3 in a good tailback class near the bottom of second round is decent value. Charbonnet has good field vision and plays with a pad level that can force many a broken tackle. He may be a little redundant with David Montgomery here, so if you prefer a potential home-run hitter like Texas A&M’s Devon Achane or Tulane’s Tyjae Spears, pretend I wrote their name instead.
Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave
The Lions love their tight ends strong and tough, and that’s exactly what Musgrave brings to the table. But he also likely has some untapped potential as a receiver, seeing as his combination of size (6-foot-5, 253) and speed (4.61 40-yard dash) could make him a dangerous weapon. 9.78 RAS, in case you were wondering.
Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt
Hyatt is a tad undersized at 6-foot, 176 pounds, but his blazing 4.4 speed is how he’ll win at the next level. As only a one-year starter at Tennessee, he’s still a raw prospect, but his production last season was outstanding, suggesting he has a high ceiling.
UNC WR Josh Downs
Downs is even more undersized (5-foot-9, 171) but brings more experience, production, and explosiveness. Though he’s likely to be a pure slot receiver due to those size limitations, he could be a home-run weapon in the Lions offense.
Kansas St. EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
Likely a “Dan Campbell guy,” due to his relentless effort on the field, Anudike-Uzomah produced 19.5 sacks in the past two years, but remains pretty unrefined in run defense and in coverage. Still, he has enough intriguing athletic traits to gamble on, when you consider that strong football character.
LSU EDGE BJ Ojulari
Sticking with the “you can’t have too many defensive linemen” theme, Ojulari didn’t produce a ton of sacks, but did generate a ton of pressures in college—20.0 tackles for loss and 103 quarterback pressures over 24 games the past two seasons according to Dane Brugler’s “The Beast”. He’s probably best out of the two-point stance at his size, as he does not win with strength very often. That said, he does a good job compensating his lack of strength with a litany of pass rushing moves and good motor.
Who should the Lions take at 55?
This poll is closed
QB Hendon Hooker
WR Jalin Hyatt
WR Josh Downs
TE Luke Musgrave
EDGE BJ Ojulari
EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah