As we inch closer to the 2023 NFL Draft, all eyes are on the Detroit Lions’ sixth overall pick, as well as the potential to use the 18th overall pick as ammunition to move further up. The Lions could still use some help shoring up the interiors of both their offensive and defensive lines. Beyond that, they have one of the most well-rounded rosters in the league and picking that high will add extra talent to an already loaded team.
Beyond days one and two, however, the Lions certainly have some holes at depth positions that they could afford to fill. Yes, we’re at that point in draft season where I’m asking about day three picks. But in all seriousness, it’s an important question to ask. As an NFL team, you’re often one play away from relying on said depth pieces to be serious contributors. Better yet, if you play your cards right, you can find a Malcolm Rodriguez, James Houston, or even an Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Question of the day: What should the Lions prioritize with their day three picks?
My answer: It’s easy to look at success stories like Houston and Rodriguez and get your hopes up that Brad Holmes grabs another day three stud. Being realistic, however, I think the Lions really need to snag a linebacker, but not in the Malcolm Rodriguez sense.
The Lions lost two serious special teams contributors at the position in Josh Woods and Chris Board to free agency this offseason. Despite them bringing Jalen Reeves-Maybin back to town, he’s just one body, and the Lions could afford to add another.
I would bet the farm that Brad Holmes goes for another diamond-in-the-rough linebacker with special teams capabilities. Beyond special teams, the Lions are leaning heavily into Alex Anzalone, Rodriguez, and Derrick Barnes at the position. Reeves-Maybin struggled mightily during his time with the Houston Texans and the Lions are an injury or two away from relying on him to fill either Anzalone’s or Rodriguez’s roles, which isn’t exactly playing to Reeves-Maybin’s strengths.
The coaching staff has shown that special teams play is a priority, and showing up on special teams is the kind of gritty, blue-collar work ethic that fits this team’s culture. I’m excited to see who the Lions get to fill that role. Whoever it is, they’ll have big shoes to fill.
Your turn. What do you think the Lions should prioritize with their day three picks? A Josh Woods? Perhaps a Theo Riddick? Should they swing for another James Houston? Let us know your thoughts.