Monday, January 18, 2021

Detroit Lions 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 4.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Detroit Lions Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Detroit Lions from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the Detroit Lions, check out our 2021 Detroit Lions Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Lions:

EDSFootball - Kevin Hanson (1/15)

7. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The best available prospect on my big board in this mock, Parsons is a rare athlete. Given that we don't know what the next regime will prefer, going BPA at this point seems reasonable.

Before opting out of the 2020 college season, there was a moment where the 244-pound linebacker was listed as Penn State's top kick returner. Even if perhaps by mistake, that highlights the type of athlete that the first-team All-American (2019) is. Parsons uses his athleticism, length and instincts to impact the game against the run, in coverage and as a blitzer.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (1/13)

7. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Matthew Stafford's future with his only team during an impressive professional career is up in the air, but I'll wait and see. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are all unrestricted free agents. The Heisman winner actually had a better statistical season than 2020 first-round picks Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy last year -- who both were top-15 picks -- leading the Crimson Tide with 1,256 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Smith has taken his game to another level since Waddle was sidelined -- he had 1,300 yards on 72 receptions and 19 touchdowns in his last eight games.

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (1/13)

7. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

If Matthew Stafford isn't moved in a trade this offseason, Detroit will have to revamp his receiver room. Smith is a darn good start.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (1/12)

7. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Lions could be in the wide receiver market with this pick, but they also need difference-makers on defense. Although maturity concerns will follow him into the NFL, Parsons has a freaky combination of height, weight and speed, along with the skills to be a three-down player.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (1/7)

7. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Matthew Stafford continues to perform at a high level, but Detroit can't seem to get the pieces right around him. With several decisions to be made at the wide receiver position and plenty of needs on defense, Chase makes sense for Detroit in this scenario. A do-everything receiver, Chase can elevate the Lions' offense, especially if the Lions are unable to bring back Kenny Golladay.

ESPN - Todd McShay (1/7)

7. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola are all set to be free agents, and Chase is an explosive route runner with great body control. He opted out in 2020 but set a SEC record for receiving yards in 2019.

Some will point to a defensive need after Detroit allowed a league-worst 419.8 yards per game. Some will argue it is time for a new quarterback, with Matthew Stafford turning 33 and having a potential out on his contract after next season. A new coaching staff and general manager might take the team in a new direction, and maybe that direction is with Justin Fields driving the offense. But it's tough to ignore how well Chase matches need with value here for the Lions.

USA Today - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (1/5)

7. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Where does Detroit start with overhauling a defense that ranked last in yards and points allowed? Given the Lions' modest cap space before addressing wide receiver Kenny Golladay, investing early and often in the draft has to be a priority. Parsons has a strong claim to the title of the draft's most explosive defender, and he's a standout in almost any assignment.

Athlon Sports - Bryan Fisher (1/5)

7. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Matthew Stafford wanting to see out his final years on a contender could line up nicely with the franchise drafting his replacement with this top-10 pick. Wilson is not unlike a more athletic version of the team's current QB and could be just the kind of selection that energizes a fan base going through a new change in direction under new ownership.

Previous update: Detroit Lions Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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