Todd McShay has Detroit Lions making ‘cringeworthy’ picks in latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Ladies and gentlemen, we are exactly 50 days away from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft, where our Detroit Lions currently hold two first-round picks. Barring any trades, which could certainly happen, the Lions will be selecting at No. 6 and No. 18 in the opening round. On Tuesday, NFL Draft guru Todd McShay released his post-NFL Scouting Combine 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and he has the Lions passing on arguable the top prospect in the draft at No. 6, and then making a cringeworthy pick at No. 18.

2023 Detroit Lions off-season calendar Todd Wash John Scott Jr. Penn State Todd McShay 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Key Points

  • The 2023 NFL Draft is 50 days away, and the Lions have two first-round picks.
  • The Lions will be selecting at No. 6 and No. 18 in the opening round, barring any trades.
  • Todd McShay's post-NFL Scouting Combine 2023 NFL Mock Draft has the Lions making a pick at No. 6 that is acceptable but not ideal, and a pick at No. 18 that is cringeworthy.

Todd McShay has Detroit Lions making ‘cringeworthy' pick in latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Here are the picks McShay has the Lions making in the upcoming draft.

6. Lions (via LAR) Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

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I know I keep using the 6.2 yards allowed per play number for the Lions, but it was the NFL's sixth-worst number for the past decade. Armed with a pair of first-rounders and a chunk of cap space, Detroit has to get better on that side of the ball. It has gotten up-and-down production from Jeff Okudah, the team's top-three pick in 2020, and the other corner spot is open with Amani Oruwariye primed to be a free agent next week.

At 6-1 and 197 pounds, Gonzalez confirmed the speed and explosion we saw on tape during the combine. He posted a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash and jumped 41.5 inches in the vertical and 11-foot-1 in the broad. And with four interceptions in 2022, he can make plays on the ball.

18. Lions Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa

We already gave the Lions a corner, so a mini-run at the position won't affect them. They still need defensive support, so give me Van Ness. While he never started a game at Iowa, he played a lot for the Hawkeyes, averaging 450 snaps per season over two years. And Van Ness turned that into seven sacks in each campaign. Add that production to an edge rush group that already includes 2022 picks Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston, and the Lions could be set to improve on the 39 sacks they generated in 2022 (tied for 18th).

It was no surprise when Van Ness tested well in Indianapolis. He has the quickness, power and versatility to dominate in the NFL.

Grading McShay's Post-NFL Combine 2023 NFL Mock Draft

If the Detroit Lions walk out of the first round with Christian Gonzalez at No. 6 and Lukas Van Ness at No. 18 in this scenario, I would be pretty disappointed. First of all, McShay has the Lions passing on DT Jalen Carter at No. 6 in favor of a cornerback, which, in my opinion would be a mistake. Then, McShay has the Lions taking Lukas Van Ness at No. 18, which would be a huge swing in a miss. Personally, I do not have Van Ness as a first-round talent, and in this scenario, Joey Porter Jr., Myles Murphy, Brian Bresee, and Calijah Kancey were all still on the board. My overall grade for this draft is a D-.

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  1. Grade should be a fat F. Gonzalez would be a fine pick if Carter wasn’t sitting there as the best prospect in this years draft coupled with his position (DT) being arguably the Lions biggest need on defense along with CB. If Carter is there. You pick him and thank the gods for the opportunity – just like they did the last 2 years with Sewell and Hutchinson. I pray for this daily. Lol. AND the Lukas Van Ness selection is about as bad as you can get. They don’t need another pass rusher right now given that that position is the new strength of their defense. They won’t be picking one in the first round this year unless his name is Will Anderson Jr. If they get Carter at #6 then Joey Porter Jr would be an excellent selection at #18. Bijan Robinson who was also available at #18 in McShay’s mock would also have been a home run selection. I mean, come on… 2 generational talents, one on each side of the ball, picked in the same round in the same draft in Jalen Carter and Bijan Robinson… you take the future mismatch machines and thank everything in existence and anyone responsible for helping you reach that outcome. If that happens, the Lions Ecole an instant problem for the NFC.

  2. The move is to trade down with Carolina. 9 and 39 for our 6 and 81. We then take Witherspoon and Cancey. We need a DB… A DT and RB is all well and good but unless we pick up Ramsey we need a damn DB… If Carter is there though i agree, i take him despite his criminal behavior. Id also take Anderson or Bryce Young at 6. But i want to trade down maybe even TWICE. From 6 to 9 and maybe 9 to 16. Kancey can be had at 16 qnd Bijan at 18. Dont forget we need a Guard as well. Ita never the sexy pick but Torrence is right there to be had. Imagine that OLine…. We need one.


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