Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft was an extremely busy day for Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions. To start the day, they stayed put at No. 34 and selected tight end Sam LaPorta. For their next pick, they traded up to No. 45 to select safety Brian Branch who was projected to go in the first round in most mocks. They then traded back twice before finally settling in with the No. 68 pick and picked their new backup quarterback in Hendon Hooker. And just when you thought the Lions were done for the day, they thew another curveball and traded away picks 122, 139 and 168 to move back up into the third round at No. 96 to select nose tackle Brodric Martin. Whew.
With the moves that were made, the Lions currently have just two selections remaining in the draft: picks 152 (fifth round) and 249 (seventh round).
Here are my top 10 players remaining as we head into Day 3 of the draft:
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Once thought of as a first-round talent at the beginning of the 2022 college football season, Ringo fell from grace due to some very inconsistent film. It’s still surprising to see him on the board at this point, though, because he is a very good athlete with a high ceiling. He might not be there by the time the Lions are picking again, but would be a nice fit for the Lions. The secondary could still use some long-term depth at outside corner and would be able to bring him along slowly.
Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
Jones is another player that slid a lot further than expected. I wouldn’t have suggested that the Lions draft a massive “right tackle-only” prospect early in the draft, but we’re reaching the late stages of the draft where you should take swings on talented players. Jones was 31st overall on Pro Football Focus’ big board and 62nd overall on Dane Brugler’s The Beast.
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern
Adebawore nearly made my list of top-10 players available on Day 2 and it’s a bit of a surprise that he’s still here. Though he played on the edge in college, I expect Adebawore to draw some interest from teams looking to move him over to the 3-tech where he can utilize his athleticism and explosiveness as a single-gap rusher. The Lions already drafted a run-stuffing DT but could double dip and add some pass rush help.
A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
Now that Cedric Tillman and Michael Wilson are both gone, A.T. Perry looks to be the next best available receiver that could fit the Lions’ X-receiver role, should they choose to address that need. Perry is a guy I would have been happy with in the 50-60 range, and I doubt he will still be on the board by the time the Lions are picking. But if he is, that’s a no brainer for me.
Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC
Vorhees is likely falling due to an ACL injury that he suffered during the NFL Combine, which means he likely won’t be available by training camp for whichever team ends up picking him. Still, the Lions could find some good value getting him in the later rounds and stashing him until he’s ready. The Lions could still use some extra depth on the interior.
Chandler Zavala, OG, N.C. State
Zavala is one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the draft and saw his stock surge over the past few months, but it’s possible that his medical report has scared off teams and kept him from going as early as many were thinking. Zavala has a history of back issues, which the Lions might want to avoid, but if they feel good enough about him, he would make a great addition to the OL.
Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
I really liked both South Carolina cornerbacks throughout this draft process and have even seen Rush higher on some boards than Cam Smith. On Friday before the second round started, Dane Brugler even mocked Rush to Washington in the middle of the third round, so selecting him on Day 3 would probably be good value. Rush is a lengthy corner who would fit well as a press corner and has the physical mentality that the Lions love.
Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas
As I mentioned before, the Lions could be looking to double dip at defensive tackle for a 3-tech and Ojomo fits that criteria. He’s a surprisingly great run defender for his size. Although he is not a great pass rusher yet, he has good athletic traits and is still pretty young, so the potential is there for him to develop into a nice all-around interior defender.
Carrington Valentine, CB, Kentucky
Valentine is one of my favorite late-round prospects that really fits the Dan Campbell culture. He’s very athletic and confident in his ability as a press corner. The Lions will probably be looking for special teams contributors on Day 3 and Valentine has experience on punt and kick coverage duties. He would make for a good developmental outside CB.
Cory Trice, CB, Purdue
Speaking of outside cornerbacks, Trice is another one of the top available options and he is one of the tallest corners in the draft. His testing is astounding for his size, especially the agility numbers. He has great potential as a press corner and according to PFF, he gave up only one catch on 88 press snaps last year.