Detroit Lions Trade Up for Will Anderson Jr. in 2023 NFL Mock Draft

According to The Athletic's most recent three-round 2023 NFL mock draft, the Detroit Lions trade up with the Arizona Cardinals to secure the top defensive end in the draft, Will Anderson Jr. In order to land Anderson Jr., the Lions had to give up the No. 6 overall pick and the No. 48th pick to obtain the No. 3 overall pick. Lions general manager Brad Holmes has made it clear that the team's focus is on selecting the best players that fit the Lions. Adding Anderson Jr. would be a significant upgrade to the Lions' defensive line, which already includes 2022 rookie standout Aidan Hutchinson.

Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Mock Draft Quentin Johnson Poona Ford Will Anderson Jr.

Key Points

  • Lions trade up with Arizona Cardinals to obtain third overall pick
  • The Lions then select Anderson Jr. with the No. 3 overall pick
  • Lions add to their already impressive defensive line
  • Lions then target running back, defensive tackle, and a quarterback

Detroit Lions land Will Anderson Jr. in ‘Dream Scenario'

The dream scenario for the Lions is to pair Anderson Jr. and Hutchinson and create a formidable duo.   The Lions have addressed their needs in the secondary during free agency, which leaves room for the team to focus on selecting more offensive players in the draft. According to The Athletic, with their second selection in the first round, the Lions land running back Bijan Robinson. Then with the 55th pick, the Lions select DT Keeanu Benton, who has been making his way up teams' draft boards throughout the pre-draft process. Finally, with their pick at No. 81, the Lions take quarterback Hendon Hooker, who has a pre-draft visit scheduled with Detroit.    

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What The Athletic has to say about the Lions 2023 NFL Draft

Here is what Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic has to say about the Lions moving up to No. 3 to select Anderson Jr.

“The dream scenario for Detroit features finding a way up to No. 3, to pair Anderson with 2022 rookie standout Aidan Hutchinson. That said, given how well-stocked their roster has become, the Lions should have more options than just about any team in the league on Days 1 and 2.”

Here are the picks Baumgardner has the Lions making in the first three rounds of the draft:

  • No. 3: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE
  • No. 18: Bijan Robinson, RB
  • No. 55: Keeanu Benton, DT
  • No. 81: Hendon Hooker, QB

Bottom Line: Lions would add top defensive lineman

Adding Will Anderson Jr. to their defensive line would be a significant move that could have a big impact on the team's success. With Anderson Jr. and Hutchinson on the same line, the Lions' defense could be a force to be reckoned with. The Lions' draft strategy of targeting players that fit their team's needs is a smart move that could lead to success on the field.  

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