Between my Mock Draft 2.0 and this latest iteration, 3.0, the Detroit Lions front office has been buzzing with activity. General Manager Brad Holmes made a splash by acquiring 12-year veteran guard Kevin Zeitler, who was a standout on the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive line. Zeitler is set to anchor the right guard position, allowing Graham Glasgow to transition to the left, thereby bolstering what is already one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. This comes after the departure of starting guard Jonah Jackson, who inked a lucrative deal with the Rams. This move by Holmes essentially frees the Lions to adopt a Best Player Available (BPA) strategy in the upcoming NFL Draft, as the roster exhibits few overt weaknesses.

However, the team found itself amidst controversy surrounding the actions of veteran cornerback Cam Sutton. The Highland County (Florida) Police Department have issued a warrant for Sutton’s arrest on charges of Domestic Battery by Strangulation, prompting the Lions to sever ties with him, despite two years remaining on his contract.

The necessity to bolster the cornerback position was apparent even before this incident, sparking debate over whether the Lions should address this need through free agency or the draft. It’s widely anticipated that Detroit will draft at least one cornerback, yet the timing of such a pick—whether early or later in the draft—remains a subject of speculation.

Let’s dive into what Brad Holmes’s strategy might be in the much-anticipated Mock Draft 3.0:

Pick 1 – Chicago Bears

Selection: QB Caleb Williams, USC

  • Analysis: No surprise here. After dealing former starting QB Justin Fields to the Steelers, the Bears believe they have found their starting QB for the next 10+ years.

Pick 2 – Washington Commanders

Selection: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

  • Analysis: Daniels ushers in a new era for the Commanders. Thrust into a starting job from day one, Daniels’ mobility offsets a horrendous offensive line.  

Pick 3 – Minnesota Vikings (via Patriots)

Selection: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

  • Analysis: The Patriots need help everywhere, and the Vikings need their QB of the future, making them perfect trade partners. In this scenario, the Vikings climb all the way up to number three to snag J.J. McCarthy. The Patriots, having received two first-round picks in the trade package from Minnesota, address two glaring needs on offense later in the first round.

Pick 4 – Las Vegas Raiders (via Cardinals)

Selection: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

  • Analysis: Whether the Raiders stick with Aidan O’Connell at QB is yet to be seen but, regardless, the team from Vegas must provide some weapons for whoever is under center. New head coach Antonio Pierce swings for the fences, trading up for the top offensive weapon in the draft.

Pick 5 – Los Angeles Chargers

Selection: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

  • Analysis: After trading Keenan Allen to the Bears and moving on from Mike Williams, the Chargers provide QB Justin Herbert with another stud wide receiver.

Pick 6 – New York Giants

Selection: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

  • Analysis: The Giants have needs everywhere, but after attacking their defensive line with the addition of Brian Burns they snipe the best receiver left on the board.

Pick 7 – Tennessee Titans

Selection: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

  • Analysis: To state the obvious, QB Will Levis needs time to find wide receivers Calvin Ridley, DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks. With that in mind, an offensive line that includes Joe Alt (LT), Peter Skoronski (LG) and Lloyd Cushenberry (C) on the left side seems like a smart move.

Pick 8 – Atlanta Falcons

Selection: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas

  • Analysis: If the Falcons can make life miserable for Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr and Bryce Young, I like their chances to win the NFC South in 2024. Adding the top pass-rushing interior defensive lineman in the draft is the move.

Pick 9 – Chicago Bears

Selection: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

  • Analysis: The Bears desperately need reinforcements on the offensive line, but to take down the NFC North Champion Detroit Lions they must get pressure from the interior of the defensive line. After the Falcons select Byron Murphy II at number 8, the Bears waste no time in picking a defensive tackle from down the road in Champaign.

Pick 10 – New York Jets

Selection: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

  • Analysis: Garrett Wilson, Mike Williams and Brock Bowers. Is that good enough for you, Aaron?

Pick 11 – New England Patriots (via Vikings)

Selection: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

  • Analysis: The Patriots trade back to 11, add another first round pick, and still get their quarterback of the future that can sit behind Jacoby Brissett for a year.

Pick 12 – Denver Broncos

Selection: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

  • Analysis: The Broncos need reinforcements at both cornerback and safety. Well, DeJean is one of the best prospects in the draft that could slide into a starting role at either position.

Pick 13 – Arizona Cardinals (via Raiders)

Selection: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

  • Analysis: It feels odd to see the Cardinals make a smart first round selection, but this feels like a homerun for a team with needs all over the offense. Powers-Johnson not only helps protect QB Kyler Murray, but also paves the road in front of James Conner.

Pick 14 – New Orleans Saints

Selection: T JC Latham, Alabama

  • Analysis: The word bulldozer shows up often in Latham’s draft profile, and both Derek Carr and Alvin Kamara approve.

Pick 15 – Baltimore Ravens (via Colts)

Selection: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

  • Analysis: With the ability to play both guard spots as a rookie, the Ravens trade up to select their guy out of Oregon State. Fuaga is an aggressive, athletic offensive lineman who can immediately fill the role left by Kevin Zeitler and create running lanes for Derrick Henry and Co.

Pick 16 – Seattle Seahawks

Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

  • Analysis: Turner is simply too good for head coach Mike Macdonald to pass up on. Macdonald will expect Turner to be a difference maker from day one, providing pressure on Matt Stafford, Brock Purdy and Kyler Murray.

Pick 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

  • Analysis: The Texans, Colts and Titans all have impressive wide receiver rooms that run three deep. The Jaguars answer with one of the most physical corners in the draft that can play all over the secondary.

Pick 18 – Detroit Lions (via Bengals)

Selection: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

  • Analysis: Brad Holmes once again makes a bold move in the NFL draft by trading up to secure a cornerback brimming with star potential. Holmes’s affinity for Alabama’s talent pool is clear, and Arnold, a dynamic man-cover corner, continues this tradition. Despite what some would call average size (6-0, 190 lbs.), Arnold’s natural athleticism shines on the field when paired with a blend of aggression and competitiveness that defines his playstyle. He’s particularly adept at closing distances quickly with his keen sense of angles and timing. Simply put, the kid has a knack for the ball. 
  • The selection of Arnold seems particularly strategic given the recent release of Cam Sutton and the short-term contracts of other cornerbacks on the Lions’ roster. By choosing Arnold in the first round, Detroit secures a player with the ability to contribute immediately and the possibility to grow into a top cornerback, filling a need for a team seeking a dependable defensive anchor.

Trade Details:

  • Lions receive: pick 18 (round one) + pick 97 (round three)
  • Bengals receive: pick 29 (round one) + pick 73 (round three) + pick 205 (round six) + 2025 fourth round pick

Pick 19 – Los Angeles Rams

Selection: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

  • Analysis: Unfortunately for the Rams, Aaron Donald retires and the top two defensive tackles are off the board at this point. Fortunately, the Rams got an up close and personal look at Latu out of UCLA and move forward pairing him opposite Byron Young with Kobie Turner taking up the interior.  

Pick 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Selection: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

  • Analysis: Can I steal one from the Lions and use “Mike Tomlin guy” to describe Fautanu? Well, I just did.

Pick 21 – Miami Dolphins

Selection: OL Graham Barton, Duke

  • Analysis: Arguably the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft, Mike McDaniel snags Graham Barton while praying that WR Xavier Worthy is still on the board when they pick next at 55.

Pick 22 – Philadelphia Eagles

Selection: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

  • Analysis: The Eagles must add firepower to their secondary, and Wiggins is a solid fit to learn and contribute under Darius Slay.

Pick 23 – New England Patriots (via Vikings)

Selection: T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

  • Analysis: The Patriots first move to solidify their offensive line before Drake Maye takes over involves snagging a 6-6, 315 lb. beast from Penn State.

Pick 24 – Dallas Cowboys

Selection: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

  • Analysis: The Cowboys could have certainly gone offensive line or wide receiver here, but Jerry Jones opts to pick the falling Jared Verse to pair with Micah Parsons. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sounds like a pretty nasty pass rush…

Pick 25 – Green Bay Packers

Selection: C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

  • Analysis: Finally, an NFC North team I can take seriously now after selecting an offensive lineman. Frazier can step in immediately to protect Jordan Love and pave the way for Josh Jacobs.

Pick 26 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Selection: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

  • Analysis: I can see Todd Bowles falling in love with McKinstry, especially after his gritty performance at the Alabama pro day. After trading Carlton Davis III to Detroit as a cap casualty, the Bucs found their replacement to play opposite Jamel Dean.

Pick 27 – Arizona Cardinals

Selection: WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

  • Analysis: After losing Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore, Kyler Murray needs somebody breathing to feed the ball. The 6-2, 205 lb. Mitchell still has a ton of upside, and the Cardinals feel good about taking him at 27 after their center selection at 13.

Pick 28 – Buffalo Bills

Selection: S Tyler Nubin, Minnesota

  • Analysis: Other than Caleb Williams to the Bears, this is the only repetitive pick from my Big Mock 2.0. The Bills need to revamp their safety room and Nubin is a fantastic start.

Pick 29 – Cincinnati Bengals (via Lions)

Selection: T Amarius Mims, Georgia

  • Analysis: The Bengals could have taken Mims at 18, but risked it when the hungry Lions came calling. Fortunately for Joe Burrow, the 6-8, 340 lb. mammoth of a human being falls right in their lap 11 spots later.

Pick 30 – Indianapolis Colts (via Ravens)

Selection: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

  • Analysis: Despite a solid WR room that features Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs and Alec Pierce, the Colts need a big-body with wheels to stretch the defensive down the field. Thomas Jr. out of LSU seems like a perfect fit for Anthony Richardson.

Pick 31 – San Francisco 49ers

Selection: CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

  • Analysis: Sainristil’s football IQ catches the eye of Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Nick Sorenson. Pair that with being a winner (on and off the field) and Sainristil sneaks into the first round. 

Pick 32 – Kansas City Chiefs

Selection: DL Darius Robinson, Missouri

  • Analysis: Yes, it was nearly impossible for me to avoid sending Ladd McConkey to the Chiefs at pick 32. For the sake of mixing things up, the defending Super Bowl Champions decide to strengthen their already-fierce front seven with the addition of Darius Robinson out of Missou.

All Lions Draft Picks:

  • Round 1, Pick 18 (via Bengals): CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 61: DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan
  • Round 3, Pick 97 (via Bengals): G Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
  • Round 5, Pick 164: CB Dwight “Nudie” McGlothern, Arkansas
  • Round 6, Pick 201: EDGE Brennan Jackson, Washington State
  • Round 7, Pick 249: TE Tanner McLachlan, Arizona


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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Original Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: March 22nd, 2024Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL, Trending News

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