Detroit Lions hammer DL in Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s Mock Draft with a twist

On Tuesday, NFL Draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay released a 2023 NFL Mock Draft with a twist, where they rotate picks over the first three rounds. Barring any trades, our Detroit Lions have a total of five picks in the first three rounds (five of the Top 81 picks to be exact), so they certainly have the draft capital to do some damage. As you will see below, McShay, who was responsible for selecting for the Lions at No. 6 and No. 18, has the team attacking the defensive line.

Todd McShay Mel Kiper Detroit Lions

Key Points

  • Kiper and McShay have released a 2023 NFL Mock Draft that rotates picks over the first three rounds.
  • McShay has the Detroit Lions attacking the defensive line with their first two picks.
  • The Lions are projected to select Tyree Wilson, Calijah Kancey, Jahmyr Gibbs, Drew Sanders, and Luke Schoonmaker in the first three rounds.

Detroit Lions hammer DL in Mel Kiper and Todd McShay's Mock Draft with a twist

Here are the picks that Kiper and McShay have the Lions making in the first three rounds, along with their rationale for each pick.

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6. Lions (from LAR)McShay's pick: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech

I was hoping Jalen Carter would fall here, but Wilson is a really good fit with the Lions, who had well-documented defensive issues last season. Pair him with Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston, and that edge rush could cause problems for opponents.

18. LionsMcShay's pick: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

OK, I like this. We're building one heck of a defensive line in Detroit after landing Tyree Wilson earlier. Sure, Kancey is undersized (6-foot-1, 281 pounds), but he is explosive and can make an impact as both a run-stuffer and an interior pass-rusher.

48. LionsMcShay's pick: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

I'm not sure Gibbs falls this far, but the Lions would love this scenario. They signed David Montgomery and already have D'Andre Swift, but Gibbs brings a different element to the offense than the former, and the latter hasn't been able to stay healthy. Gibbs is nearly impossible to tackle in the open field and could put up big numbers as an after-the-catch playmaker for Jared Goff in the pass game.

55. Lions (from MIN)Kiper's pick: Drew Sanders, ILB, Arkansas

We've given Detroit two defensive linemen and a running back so far, but I still spot a void at linebacker. I want to see Sanders compete for a starting spot on the inside. At 6-foot-4, he could be used as a great blitzer too. He just makes plays.

81. LionsKiper's pick: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan

Schoonmaker might be a little underrated in this deep tight end class. He is solid but not spectacular. With T.J. Hockenson gone, Detroit doesn't have much in its tight end room. And now we've filled all of the Lions' needs, haven't we, Todd?

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Bottom Line: The first three rounds are HUGE for the Lions

Only time will tell what Lions GM Brad Holmes will ultimately decide to do in the 2023 NFL Draft, but there is no question about it that the first three rounds will be crucial. The Lions have five of the Top 81 picks, and if Holmes can hit on those picks, it would be a HUGE boost for a team that is already favored to win the NFC North in 2023.

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