The Detroit Lions are on the clock at pick 29 in the 2024 NFL Draft, and much of the city is growing restless. Under General Manager Brad Holmes, who has adeptly filled nearly every need on the roster, the Lions are now eyeing a potential Super Bowl run. The decisions made at this point will largely depend on how earlier picks shape the draft board, and Holmes finds himself in an enviable position as a key piece falls into their lap. 

This is my final mock draft, version 8.0, featuring several first-round trades while the Lions strategically hold their position at 29. Join me as we explore each move and its implications across the NFL landscape.

Pick 1 – Chicago Bears

Selection: QB Caleb Williams, USC

  • Analysis: Unofficially official – Caleb Williams is Chicago-bound. As the new quarterback in the Windy City, Williams brings excitement and promise to the Bears’ future.

Pick 2 – Washington Commanders

Selection: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

  • Analysis: Despite heavy pressure to trade down, the Commanders make a decisive move, launching a new era in D.C. with LSU’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels at the helm. 

Pick 3 – New England Patriots

Selection: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

  • Analysis: We can all try to avoid the poetry in motion here, or we can just accept it as reality. Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy finds a home in New England, where another former Wolverine legend used to reign under center. Jerod Mayo can sit McCarthy behind expected starter Jacoby Brissett to start his career, before eventually handing it off (pun intended) to the former National Champion. 

Pick 4 – Minnesota Vikings (via Cardinals)

Selection: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

  • Analysis: The first big trade of the night takes place between the Vikings and the Cardinals at pick number four, but it doesn’t involve a quarterback…
  • Superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson is on the move. The Vikings, unwilling to pay Jefferson $35million+, package the WR with picks 11 and 23 in exchange for pick four and pick 27. The Cardinals pony up the cash to sign Jefferson to the long-term contract he’s been seeking. 
  • The Vikings then select Marvin Harrison Jr. to replace Justin Jefferson and play alongside Jordan Addison. Who will be throwing them the football? The Vikings address their future quarterback needs with the recently acquired pick 27. 

Trade details: 11, 23 and WR Justin Jefferson for 4 and 27

Pick 5 – Los Angeles Chargers

Selection: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

  • Analysis: Jim Harbaugh’s first draft as the Chargers head coach starts in the trenches. The towering tackle out of Notre Dame will be a force opposite Rashawn Slater, in a division with premier pass rushers looking to get to Justin Herbert. 

Pick 6 – Denver Broncos (via Giants)

Selection: QB Drake Maye, UNC

  • Analysis: With top quarterbacks flying off the board, Sean Payton maneuvers the Broncos into position to snatch UNC’s Drake Maye, exploiting a golden opportunity to secure a top-tier talent. 

Pick 7 – Tennessee Titans

Selection: T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

  • Analysis: Olu Fashanu is already a beast, but the wild thing is he still has room for improvement. If the Titans are going to keep up with the potentially high-powered offenses of the Texans, Colts and Jaguars, they are going to need to protect young quarterback Will Levis at all costs. A left side of an offensive line that includes Fashanu, LG Peter Skoronski and C Lloyd Cushenberry III is a fantastic way to start. 

Pick 8 – New York Jets (via Falcons)

Selection: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

  • Analysis: With four quarterbacks and two tackles already off the board, the wide receivers took a mini slide, and the Jets take full advantage of it. Knowing that the Falcons have their sights set on one of the top edge rushers, the Jets don’t have to mortgage their future to move up two spots and take wide receiver Malik Nabers, who some argue is the best wide receiver in this draft. Veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers approves, too. 

Pick 9 – Carolina Panthers (via Bears)

Selection: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

  • Analysis: The Bears are in need of additional draft capital, and with a premier receiver still on the board they are offered a haul from the Carolina Panthers who start the day without a first round draft pick. The Panthers scoop up Washington wide receive Rome Odunze, the last of “the big three” receivers, at number nine to give quarterback Bryce Young additional firepower. 

Pick 10 – Atlanta Falcons (via Jets)

Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

  • Analysis: After trading back two spots with the New York Jets, the Falcons settle in at 10 and take Dallas Turner out of Alabama to anchor their pass rush.

Pick 11 – Philadelphia Eagles (via Cardinals)

Selection: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

  • Analysis: Veteran tight end Dallas Goedert has two years left on his contract, and the Eagles decide to get aggressive in search of his replacement. Not only does Brock Bowers provide an immediate boost to the Philly offense, but he also played college ball at Georgia…

Pick 12 – New York Giants (via Broncos)

Selection: DB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

  • Analysis: The Giants are in dire need of upgrades at cornerback and safety. Well, Cooper DeJean has pro-bowl potential at both positions. And this has nothing to do with Jason Sehorn.
  • Or does it? 

Pick 13 – Las Vegas Raiders

Selection:  T JC Latham, Alabama

  • Analysis: JC Latham plays nasty. He’s ruthless. He’s a Raider. 

Pick 14 – New Orleans Saints

Selection: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

  • Analysis: Some may be sleeping on “the other” wide receiver out of LSU, but not the Saints. The pro team down in Louisiana had an up close and personal look at Thomas. They were able to see how critical he was to the Tigers’ offense opposite Malik Nabers, and decide to build their own version with receivers Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. 

Pick 15 – Indianapolis Colts

Selection: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

  • Analysis: The Toledo cornerback tends to grab when he is in recovery mode tracking down a streaking wide receiver. However, that may be his only flaw. Mitchell is a superb athlete at the cornerback position, he’s aggressive and he plays with a noticeable toughness.

Pick 16 – Seattle Seahawks

Selection: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

  • Analysis: Fautanu is another prospect that doesn’t need to move very far, staying at home in Washington as pick number 16. The versatile tackle can slide inside and provide reinforcement across Mike Macdonald’s offensive line from day one. 

Pick 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

  • Analysis: The cornerback out of Alabama has it all, and the Jaguars need it all. They have a plethora of “dudes” on that Jacksonsville defense, but for some reason they struggled mightily in the secondary during the 2023 season. He may not have the ceiling in the group of first-round projected cornerbacks, but he may very well have the highest floor. It’s evident he is going to be a productive pro. 

Pick 18 – Cincinnati Bengals

Selection: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas

  • Analysis: Most years Byron Murphy II would be a top-10 pick, but in the 2024 NFL Draft its the Bengals that get to take advantage of a surprise slide. An elite disruptor as a prospect, Murphy is a perfect long-term option to replace DJ Reader, who signed with the Detroit Lions in the offseason.  

Pick 19 – Los Angeles Rams

Selection: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

  • Analysis: The Rams could certainly address their secondary with this pick, but instead Les Snead opts first to improve the pass rush with the most technically mature edge rusher in the draft. While Kobie Turner mans the interior, UCLA’s Laiatu Latu can rush the quarterback off the edge on the opposite side of Byron Young. 

Pick 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Selection: OL Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

  • Analysis: It’s hard to picture Fuaga falling this far, but he did, and boy were the other AFC North teams disappointed to see him land in Pittsburgh. Regardless of who is under center – Russell Wilson or Justin Fields – Fuaga is a mauler that will help keep them clean as well as paving the road for running backs Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris. 

Pick 21 – Buffalo Bills (via Dolphins)

Selection: WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

  • Analysis: The Dolphins have their eye on a specific prospect that they are confident they can get later in the first round. The Bills need to move up in front of the Cowboys to ensure they get the wide receiver left that can help their offense the most. The Dolphins add draft capital, and Josh Allen adds Texas wide receiver AD Mitchell to the top of the Bills depth chart.

Pick 22 – Arizona Cardinals (via Eagles)

Selection: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

  • Analysis: With back-to-back picks here, the Cardinals cap off an epic first round. They are the beneficiaries of a board that has seen two of the best defensive prospects in the entire draft slip into the 20’s. At pick 22, the Cardinals snap up edge rusher Jared Verse without any thought. And then…

Pick 23 – Arizona Cardinals (via Vikings)

Selection: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

  • Analysis: They put even less thought into the selection of defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton at pick 23. 
  • How about this for the Cardinals on day one: Jared Verse, Jer’Zhan Newton and Justin Jefferson. Now that’s making some noise.

Pick 24 – Dallas Cowboys

Selection: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

  • Analysis: With all of their favorite wide receivers off of the board, the Cowboys “settle” on the right choice, which is the best center in college football in 2023: Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Pick 25 – Green Bay Packers

Selection: T Amarius Mims, Georgia

  • Analysis: Although a bit of a project, the Packers have been known to develop offensive lineman and Amarius Mims’ potential is as high as anybody in this draft. The specimen out of Georgia has all the traits to be a superstar tackle in the NFL, he simply needs experience while developing the technical aspect of his game. 

Pick 26 – San Francisco 49ers (via Buccaneers)

Selection: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

  • Analysis: The 49ers have had their eye on Kool-Aid McKinstry. With the Vikings, Lions and Ravens selecting in front of them, they decide to jump the line. After swapping picks with the Bucs, the 49ers take their next star cornerback to don the red and gold. 

Pick 27 – Minnesota Vikings (via Cardinals)

Selection: QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

  • Analysis: The strategy for Minnesota that few people are talking about: Michael Penix Jr. After opting to climb up the draft board and select Marvin Harrison Jr., the Vikings pair him with the most accurate deep ball thrower in the draft. Theres something about Penix in purple.

Pick 28 – Miami Dolphins (via Bills)

Selection: WR Xavier Worthy, Texas

  • Analysis: Mike McDaniel collects speed like my treadmill collects dust. So when I remind you that Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy ran a 4.21 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, it sure seems like a fit. Add in that the Dolphins could certainly use an upgrade at their version of a “slot receiver,” and it almost seems like a match made in heaven. Can you imagine an offense that features Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Devon Achane, Raheem Mostert…and then Xavier Worthy? Mercy. 

Pick 29 – Detroit Lions

Selection: OL Graham Barton, Duke

  • Analysis: Less than 24 hours after the Lions inked a long-term extension with cornerstone tackle, Penei Sewell, the Honolulu Blue crew goes back to the well and continues to strengthen their foundation. The 6-5, 315 lb. Graham Barton provides immense value at pick 29 to a Lions team whose identity is their offensive line. Barton is a fluid athlete for his size and, although he started at left tackle for Duke, he is expected to slide to the inside as a long-term answer at the guard or center position. 

  • While many may scoff at the idea of drafting a player in the first round that will start the season as a backup, the insurance Barton provides is immeasurable. He will likely take on the role as the first offensive lineman off the bench. This role is supporting Graham Glasgow at left guard, Kevin Zeitler at right guard and Frank Ragnow at center. With lingering health concerns that will accompany Ragnow for the remainder of his career, and with Zeitler only signed for one season, Barton has potential to be your future starter at one of those positions. Paired with the fact that Glasgow, too, can play any of the three interior offensive line positions, the Lions front office has put together the best offensive line in the league, and now it is the deepest. 
  • A technically sound lineman, Barton also plays with a mean streak. His nastiness off the line of scrimmage in both runing and passing situations fits the mentality of Hank Fraley’s offensive line. His ability to climb to the second level of the defense to attack linebackers and defensive backs will be critical in Detroit’s dynamic offense. 

Pick 30 – Baltimore Ravens

Selection: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

  • Analysis: The previous 29 teams should have banded against the Ravens to prevent John Harbaugh from getting his hands on Chop Robinson. They grow generational defensive lineman like they’re plants, and there’s no question that Chop has the talent. 

Pick 31 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via 49ers)

Selection: C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

  • Analysis: Reinforcements are needed on the interior, and particularly at center, in Tampa Bay. The four-time state champion wrestler in high school would provide immediate toughness blocking for Baker Mayfield. Zach Frazier next to Cody Mauch just feels right. 

Pick 32 – Kansas City Chiefs

Selection: WR Roman Wilson, Michigan

  • Analysis: Roman Wilson is one of the most savvy route runners in the 2024 NFL Draft, and his 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine was impressive. His reliability at the University of Michigan was never in doubt, and now that he has proved he can find the end zone consistently (he caught 12 touchdowns during the 2023 season). Wilson ensures continuity of a winning culture while the Chiefs deal with some question marks in the receiver room. 


All Lions Picks:

  1. Round 1, pick 29: OL Graham Barton, Duke
  2. Round 2, pick 43: WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia
  3. Round 3, pick 79: CB Renardo Green
  4. Round 4, pick 109: EDGE Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State
  5. Roud 4, pick 112: DT DeWayne Carter, Duke
  6. Round 6, pick 205: TE Tip Reiman, Illinois
  7. Round 7, pick 249: S Omar Brown, Nebraska

Trade Details:

  1. Trade with Atlanta Falcons
    • Lions receive: pick 43, pick 79 and pick 109
    • Falcons receive: pick 61, pick 73 and 2025 2nd rounder
  2. Trade with Las Vegas Raiders
    • Lions receive: pick 112
    • Raiders receive: pick 164, pick 201 and 2025 4th rounder


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


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Original Photo Credit: © Sam Navarro – USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: April 25th, 2024Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL, Trending News

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