The 2023 NFL draft is finally here and we at Pride of Detroit will be covering each of the Detroit Lions drafted players with multiple in-depth articles. But for those who want to be able to track the team’s progress without sorting through the front page of the website, this will offer you an alternative option.
This tracker will give Lions fans an at-a-glance look at who the team drafted so far, some important details about the player, links to articles we have written about the player, and will be constantly updated throughout the draft.
The Lions enter this year’s draft with nine picks available to them. Picks No. 6 and No. 18 will occur on Day 1, which takes place on Thursday, April 27 (here’s how to watch). Detroit has an additional three picks on Day 2, No. 48 and 55 in the second round, as well as pick No. 81 in the third. The Lions hold another four picks on Day 3. They don’t have any picks in rounds four or seven, but they hold No. 152 and 159 in the fifth and No. 183 and 194 in the sixth round.
The Lions could go a lot of different ways with their first pick but according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the betting favorite to go No. 6 overall is Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon (you can read why the Lions should draft Witherspoon here). After Witherspoon, Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter has the next best odds to land in Detroit, followed by Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson, Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson, Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez, and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.
Make sure to bookmark this page and we will keep you updated throughout the draft.
TRADE: Lions and Arizona Cardinals strike a deal
Lions acquire: picks No. 12, 34, and 168
Cardinals acquire: pick No. 6 and 81
#Lions come out ahead in the trade with the Cardinals— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) April 28, 2023
Rich Hill trade chart:
Lions acquire 530 points
Difference value: early 4th
Fitzgerald-Speilberger trade chart:
Lions acquire 3357
Difference value: early 5th
Round 1, Pick 12: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Gibbs is an absolutely electric athlete at the running back position. He possesses legit 4.36 speed and is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. Gibbs has another gear to his game and when he is running the ball, he easily pulls away from defenders. With arguably the best hands of any back in this draft class, he is a terrific complement back to David Montgomery and even fits in well with D’Andre Swift.
Round 1, Pick 18: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
A traditional MIKE linebacker at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds, Campbell has elite athleticism and instincts for the position. His play speed is impressive and he runs downhill with authority, while also bringing a base level of coverage to the center of the defense. He should compete for snaps immediately.
Round 2, Pick 34: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
Laporta is the second tight end off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. An above-average pass catcher who gives strong effort as a blocker, but could use some technique clean-ups with getting too high at times. Overall, his best asset will be as a seam stretcher where he is someone that Jared Goff will be able to rely on. He will have a chance to win s starting job in training camp.
TRADE: Lions and Packers strike a deal
Lions acquire: pick No. 45
Packers acquire: pick No. 48 and 159
Round 2, Pick 45: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
An absolute steal. Branch was the No. 13 overall player on my Lions-based draft board, and is a near replica of hybrid safety/slot corner C.J. Gardner Johnson. Branch may not have elite measurables, but he is a brilliant defender—Branch started as a freshman at Alabama—and can operate in any and all situations.
TRADE: Lions and Chiefs strike a deal
Lions acquire: picks No. 63, 122, and 249
Chiefs acquire: pick No. 55 and 194
TRADE: Lions and Broncos strike a deal
Lions acquire: picks No. 68 and 139
Broncos acquire: pick No. 63 and 183
Round 3, Pick 68: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Hendon Hooker is a high-upside quarterback with an NFL frame (6-foot-3, 217) and impressive arm talent. Hooker played in Tennessee’s QB-friendly offense, so his stats are elevated, but there is little doubt about his accuracy. With above-average athleticism, elite football character, and leadership, Hooker has starting-level talent if he can overcome his obstacles. At 25 years old, Hooker is developmentally behind most other quarterbacks his age, and coming from his college scheme, he will have a lot to learn with a new, larger NFL playbook. Finally, Hooker is currently recovering from an ACL injury and it’s unknown when he will be able to find the field in 2023.
TRADE: Lions and Cardinals strike another deal
Lions acquire: pick No. 96
Cardinals acquire: picks No. 122, 139, and 168
Round 3, pick 96: Brodric Martin, NT, Western Kentucky
At 6-foot-5, 337 pounds, Martin is a space-eating run defender that will need some development in a rotation before he can take on a larger role on defense. Capable of taking on double teams and closing up multiple gaps, Martin plays with powerful hands and light feet.
Trade: Lions send D’Andre Swift to the Eagles
Lions acquire: pick No. 219 and a 2025 4th-round pick
Eagles acquire: Swift and pick No. 249
Round 5, Pick 152: Colby Sorsdal, OL, William & Mary
Sorsadal was a 46-game starter at right tackle and captain at Williams & Mary, but he would benefit from a move inside to guard in the NFL. A gap-power/zone blocker, Sorsdal is fluid when in space and can pull and get to the second level with his blocks. He will need to improve his overall play strength and some of his technique, but he has upside potential on the inside.
Round 7, Pick 219: Antoine Green, WR, North Carolina
At 6-foot-2, 199 pounds, Green has a legit WR-X upside in the NFL, a position the Lions lack depth. Right now, he is more of a vertical threat than a true three-level receiver, but he has the potential to develop into a contributor with some time.