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It’s always worth noting when an outlet publishes a full mock draft for a team, one that extends beyond the first round or two. Pro Football Network recently projected out the full Detroit Lions draft.
Analyst Ian Cummings went through all six Lions picks; Detroit has two third-round picks but no selections in the sixth or seventh rounds. His choices are largely unconventional and feature some choices that aren’t typically seen projected to Detroit.
LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase at No. 7 is a common choice, when he’s actually available. In most current projections, Chase is off the board by the time the Lions pick. He instantly vaults to the top of the Detroit depth chart and provides instant Pro Bowl potential at the position of biggest need on the offense.
After that, the picks stray from the general norm. Syracuse CB Ifeatu Melifonwu is a big, physical outside corner, but the Lions have two of those already in promising youngsters Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye and recently signed another in Quinton Dunbar. If Melifonwu converts to safety, and he has some traits that could make that work, the pick makes more sense.
Nick Bolton is a solid value in the third round. Bolton is a throwback kind of MIKE backer, one who plays in the vein of Lions special assistant and all-time leading tackler, Chris Spielman. Everything Lions fans loathed about former first-rounder Jarrad Davis–the poor instincts, the late recognition, the inability to get off blocks–are the exact things Bolton does very well. He doesn’t help the coverage much, however.
Carman is an experienced right tackle/right guard prospect from a high-level program but entirely unexciting athletically. He’s certainly good enough to play, but the Lions would be better-served drafting a more developmental-type prospect with a higher talent ceiling for a position where they don’t need a new starter in 2021.
I love the game of Ar’Darius Washington, the TCU safety. However, he’s tiny even for small NFL standards. There just isn’t a lot of hope for a safety who tips the scales at 176 pounds on his 5-foot-8 frame. Texas DT Ta’quan Graham, a try-hard plugger with some good tape late in his Longhorns career, rounds it out.