Detroit Lions get ‘Relentless' defender in Mel Kiper 2024 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
By the time January 23rd rolls around on the calendar in just about every other year, Detroit Lions fans have generally been talking about who the Lions will select in the NFL Draft for at least a month. But this year is different as the Lions have advanced to the NFC Championship Game, which means they will have one of the bottom four picks in the opening round of the 2024 NFL Draft. On Tuesday morning ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper released his first mock draft of the cycle, and he has the Lions picking at No. 30.
Who Does Mel Kiper Have the Detroit Lions Selecting at No. 30?
Kiper has the Lions selecting CB Quinyon Mitchell out of Toledo with the No. 30 overall pick. Here is what Kiper wrote about the Lions going with Mitchell in the first round.
Detroit landed a second-round steal last year in safety/slot corner Brian Branch, who had three interceptions in an excellent rookie season. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to solve this defense's issues defending the pass. The Lions ranked 31st in yards per pass attempt allowed (7.8) and 30th in passing yards allowed to receivers (3,081). Simply put, they have to get better at corner.
Mitchell leveled up this past season, not allowing a single touchdown pass as the nearest defender in coverage, despite being targeted 59 times. He picked off five passes in 2022, but he gave up four scores — he was much more consistent in 2023, though he only had one interception. I'm excited to see how Mitchell performs at Senior Bowl practices next week.
Folks, if you have watched the Lions play defense in 2023, and you think they should select anything other than a cornerback with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, then I don't know what to tell you.
Sure, I would love for the Lions to land CB Nate Wiggins (Clemson), or Terrion Arnold (Alabama), but both of those players will likely go in the Top 15. By the time No. 30 rolls around, CBs like Quinyon Mitchell, and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (Missouri) should still be available.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Late First-Round Pick for Lions: Unlike previous years when the Detroit Lions have been discussing draft picks early, this year they have a late first-round pick at No. 30, a consequence of their success in reaching the NFC Championship Game.
- Draft Prospect – CB Quinyon Mitchell: Mel Kiper's mock draft suggests the Lions will select cornerback Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo. Mitchell is noted for his impressive coverage skills, not allowing a touchdown pass in 2023 and demonstrating remarkable consistency.
- Lions’ Draft Strategy and Needs: The article emphasizes the importance of selecting a cornerback in the first round due to the Lions' defensive struggles, especially in pass coverage. While the chances of landing an elite player at No. 30 are slim, the Lions’ scouting department, led by Brad Holmes, has a solid track record of finding suitable talent for their roster, suggesting optimism for their 2024 draft pick.
When you are picking No. 30 in the 1st Round, the odds of you landing an elite player such as Aidan Hutchinson or Penei Sewell go WAY down. That said, Brad Holmes and his staff have done an excellent job of finding players who will fit in. on the Lions roster, and there is no reason to think it will be any different when the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around.