Welcome to NFL Super Wild Card Weekend! That's right, folks, in just a matter of hours, the 2022 NFL Playoffs will kick off, and you can bet things will be interesting as there is not a heavy favorite to win this year's Super Bowl. Unfortunately, our Detroit Lions came up just short of making the playoffs, as they finished with a 9-8 overall record. But never fear, our Detroit Lions Blueprint for their upcoming offseason begins today with my Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Mock Draft Simulation 1.0
2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft Simulation 1.0
There is nothing like a mid-January 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft, but that is exactly the exercise we will be doing today as we look at what the first three rounds could look like for our Detroit Lions.
So, without further ado, here is my 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft Simulation 1.0 for our Detroit Lions. (Don't worry, these will eventually include all seven rounds!)
As it stands, the Lions have five picks over the first three rounds, and if they end up trading down, they could add even more draft capital.
To keep myself honest, I will use the Pro Football Focus 2023 NFL Draft Simulator for this 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft. This means I can only select available players when I am on the clock. No resetting to get what I want!
Buckle up, Lions fans! Here we go!
First, let's look at how the first five picks went in this 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft simulation:
Round 1 – No. 6 overall (Via Rams): Brian Bresse (DL) – Clemson
Though I am about trading the No. 6 overall pick if the opportunity arises, I would be happy if one of four players is available when the Lions are on the cock. Those players are EDGE Will Anderson (Alabama), DL Jalen Carter (Georgia), EDGE Myles Murphy (Clemson), and DL Brian Bresse (Clemson). If Anderson or Carter end up falling to No. 6, I may pass out in happiness, but those two, along with Murphy, were all off the board in this simulation. As far as stats go, Bresse's production does not jump off the page at all, but he is a big-time disruptor, and an interior defensive lineman is certainly a need for the Lions.
Round 1 – No. 18 overall: Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
Ok, I am not going to lie; things did not exactly go how I would have hoped they would for the No. 6 overall pick in this 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft. That being said, I think the Lions need to take a CB at No. 18, and my rankings for that are as follows:
- 1. Kelee Ringo (Georgia)
- 2. Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
- 3. Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)
- 4. Cam Smith (South Carolina)
In the mock draft I am currently doing, Smith was off the board at No. 12, and Ringo was selected at No. 14, so I have my choice between Gonzalez and Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. is long and physical, and he just seems like the perfect fit for the Lions' defense, so that is my pick.
Round 2 – No. 48 overall: TE Darnell Washington (Georgia)
Let's freaking go!!! If Darnell Washington slides to No. 48, the Lions should be all over him. I am not a fan of taking a tight end in the first round, but if Washington is available in the mid-second round, that would be a massive win for the Lions, who traded T.J. Hockenson during the 2022 season. Washington has size and athleticism and will be a very good NFL player.
Round 2 – No. 58 overall: DT Mazi Smith (Michigan)
Back to defense. At this point, I planned to double up at defensive tackle or cornerback. OR, if a top offensive guard was still on the board, I could go in that direction. That being said, Mazi Smith is an athletic freak and adding him and Brian Breese to the Lions' defensive line would turn things around quickly for a team that MUST solidify its defense. The question is, would Smith be able to convince Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell that his run-in with the law at Michigan is something that will never happen again?
Round 3 – No. 81 overall: OT Dawand Jones (Ohio State)
Ok, this is a pick you may knock me for, considering the Lions already have Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell at OT. That being said, 1) the Lions do not have depth at the OT position, and 2) injuries happen, and it sure would be nice to have an excellent backup option. At 6-8, 360 pounds, Jones is not only a beat of a man but also athletic. He is a dominant run-blocker, and though he has some work to do with his pass-blocking skills, Jones would fit in perfectly with what the Lions are looking to do on offense.
That's it! There is my first 3-Round 2023 Detroit Lions Mock Draft of the offseason!
Here is an overall look, along with the PFF grades. (I don't pay attention to that at all)