Detroit Lions ‘go big’ in Kyle Meinke’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The 2022 NFL season is officially in the books, and before long, it will be time for the 2023 NFL Draft. Everybody has been releasing their 2023 NFL Mock Drafts, some already doing a handful of them, and Kyle Meinke of MLive has decided to get in on the action. Meinke has released the first version of his 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and he has the Detroit Lions adding some beef with their first two picks.

Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Why it Matters for the Detroit Lions

As it stands, the Lions have the No. 6 and No. 18 picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and most people seem to believe that they should attack the defensive side of the ball, including adding a cornerback in the opening round. Meinke apparently does not agree with that notion as he has the Lions selecting a defensive lineman and an offensive lineman with their first two picks.

Kyle Meinke's 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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Meinke has released the first version of his mock draft, and he has the Lions selecting Clemson edge Myles Murphy with the No. 6 pick and Florida G O’Cyrus Torrence with the No. 18 overall pick in the opening round.

Here is some of what Meinke has to say about those picks:

Myles Murphy (EDGE) – Clemson

Myles Murphy wouldn’t be such a bad consolation. He was a towering pass rusher from his first season at Clemson, when he finished with the third-most sacks ever by a first-year player at that school, before adding 14.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss in the following two seasons. He also happens to be terrific against the run, perhaps even better than he is against the pass. Like Hutchinson, he’s regarded as a high-motor player who brings everything he’s got on every down. Also like Hutchinson, he’s regarded as a freakily strong player. At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Murphy benches 405 pounds, deadlifts 505 pounds and can run the 40 in 4.5 seconds according to Bruce Feldman’s annual list of top freaks in college football. If true, Murphy should become one of the stars of the combine next week. And if true, he should cement his place on the very short list of top prospects for a Detroit team looking to add more playmakers on defense.

O'Cyrus Torrence (OG) – Florida

The time might have arrived for Detroit to add another blue-chip prospect to ensure continued excellence up front. And Torrence is certainly blue chip. He might have been a first-round pick last year, but instead transferred to Florida, where he didn’t allow so much as a quarterback hit on 355 pass blocks. He was tremendous in the running game too, which is sure to be appealing to Dan Campbell. The big question for me is whether the Lions could find a defensive playmaker here instead, and still find a plus guard later in the draft. But after a run on three cornerbacks in the previous eight picks, and with a defensive lineman already in the bag, going another direction made more sense. Ad investing in another top offensive lineman seems like a surer path to long-term success than taking a running back, even if it’s the best running back in the draft.

Grading Kyle Meinke's 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Personally, when I first looked at Meinke's mock draft, it made me wonder if he still follows the team. I strongly believe the Lions have to select a cornerback at some point in the first round, and that did not happen in this mock. That being said, the way Meinke has the draft unfolding, I think he ended up making the correct picks (though I would have preferred they trade down from the No. 6 spot.) if Anderson or Carter are no longer on the table. Murphy and Torrence would both make an impact as rookies, so I have to give this mock draft a B+.

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