2024 NFL Draft: Favorite Day 2 options for the Detroit Lions

What an opening night of the 2024 NFL Draft! As always, the draft is most unpredictable and one scenario that may have crossed our minds as fans but never seemed realistic was the Lions moving up to select Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what the Lions did on Thursday night.

As the Dallas Cowboys got on the clock with the 24th overall pick, the Lions picked up the phone and moved up five spots from the 29th overall pick to select Terrion Arnold. He was labeled as one of the best defenders in this class and on my board, he was my 14th ranked player and top ranked cornerback.

Sure the price tag may have been listed as “high” with the Lions getting rid of the 73rd overall pick to select Arnold but it was worth it. After all, one of the biggest needs for the team going into the off-season was cornerback and they’ve done everything possible in upgrading that position. First it was trading for Carlton Davis and signing Amik Robertson but now that plan may be complete with the addition of Terrion Arnold.

Losing a day two pick is less than ideal but just because the Lions only have the 61st overall pick for tonight doesn’t mean their limited to just that selection. Let’s go over some of the Lions best options for the second night of the 2024 NFL Draft!

Trading Down from the 61st Overall Pick

It’s been no secret that Lions General Manager Brad Holmes likes to work the phones during the NFL Draft. We saw him do it for Jameson Williams in 2021 and we saw him move 3 picks to go up and get Brodric Martin on day 2 of the draft last year.

I think the same thing could happen tonight and I think it’s the most realistic option for the Lions with the 61st overall pick. After all, they don’t pick again until the 164th overall pick. They’ve got to find a way to close the gap between those 103 picks.

One team that I would keep tabs on is the Washington Commanders. They’ve got the 68th and 78th overall picks in the 3rd round tonight. Meanwhile, they’ve also got four picks on the last day of the 2024 NFL Draft so they could get aggressive tonight and try to move up.

In addition to the Commanders, I’d monitor what the Los Angeles Chargers do in the draft. Yes, they made the right move by selecting Notre Dame OT Joe Alt with the 5th overall pick last night but the Chargers still have 8 more picks in the draft.

With that, there’s an expectation for them to draft at least one Michigan player with the obvious connection to head coach Jim Harbaugh. I could see them moving up for LB Junior Colson, RB Blake Corum or WR Roman Wilson.

Maybe they’d package the 69th overall pick and the 105th overall pick to move up to the 61st overall pick. We’ll see how that all plays out. Keep in mind that there’s a plethora of teams with a bunch of draft capital. However, teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals have some of the most capital in the draft this year. We’ll see how it plays out but trading back is my top option for tonight.

Drafting an interior offensive lineman

During the Lions last 3 drafts, there’s been a trend with Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell. If they take an offensive player as their first pick, their next pick has been a defensive player. If they take a defensive player first, then it ends up being an offensive player as the next pick.

That said, I’d expect this next pick to be an offensive player. Even if they trade down.

One of the top area of needs for the Lions is the offensive line. Sure, they resigned Graham Glasgow and they brought in Kevin Zietler to play right guard but the depth behind both players is less than ideal. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of uncertainty around center Frank Ragnow and his longevity in the NFL.

We all saw what happened last year when Frank Ragnow or Jonah Jackson went down. It creates chaos in the middle of the pocket and as we know, that’s Jared Goff’s best place to play. Upright and in the pocket. Adding talent up front should be important.

The first player they should consider is Dominick Puni from Kansas. While it’s less than ideal for him to go 61st overall, there’s no chance he’s available with the 164th overall pick. Additionally, he could be a five-position player for an offensive line. Puni plays well-balanced and under control in pass protection.

He’s got good initial quickness and shows no issues when pulling and is more than capable of walling off second level defenders. Foot speed could use improvements and his pad level needs work but he’s a fine developmental prospect that would fit well in Detroit.

Another option for the Lions would be Delmar Glaze from Maryland. He explodes consistently out of his stance 6’4″ and 315 pounds and has 34 7/8″ arms. In pass protection, he’s square and under control and uses timely punches while being able to reset his hands. He’s certainly a tackle in the NFL but it wouldn’t be surprising if he became a high level guard.

Drafting a wide receiver

Staying with the mindset that the next draft pick will be an offensive player, I can’t help but think that wide receiver is in the mix for the Lions. They lost Josh Reynolds in free agency and there’s some uncertainty behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams and Kalif Raymond.

There could be a run early on day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft so this may force the Lions hand sooner rather than later. After all, we saw 7 wide receivers selected in the first round. If they decided to draft a wide receiver, the first player that comes to mind is Ja’Lynn Polk from Washington.

Depending on who you talk with, some believe that Polk is comparable to Josh Reynolds. I think he’s more like Gabriel Davis, but either way, he would be a solid option for the Lions. He shows great tracking ability on deep throws, is able to compete consistently, and makes great adjustments on 50/50 balls. He won’t be known for his long speed, but he should see targets early and often in his career.

Another option would be one of my personal favorites, Jamari Thrash from Louisville. Not a burner with only 4.46 speed in the 40-yard dash but he is one of the most experienced route runners in this draft. Meanwhile, the pacing of his routes helps him separate consistently. Most likely to play out of the slot but there’s much to be desired with Thrash who would fit in nicely for the Lions.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire