Saturday, September 10, 2022

Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 2.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our Detroit Lions Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Detroit Lions from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

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

CBS Sports - Wilson (9/7)

7. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy looks the part, but he's not quite in the same conversation as the top edge rushers in last year's class. That said, he'd be a nice complement to the 2022 No. 2 pick, Aidan Hutchinson, in Detroit, which would make it a lot harder for offenses to double-team the former Michigan standout.

27. Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse

Perhaps this is the year it all comes together for Jeff Okudah, who hasn't yet lived up to his first-round pedigree in Detroit. Either way, the Lions need more playmakers at a position where journeyman Mike Hughes is poised to see a lot of snaps, at least early in the season.

The Draft Network - Crabbs (9/5)

8. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Aidan Hutchinson and Myles Murphy? Detroit is suddenly very much cooking with gas. Yes, the team has Charles Harris. Yes, the team drafted Josh Paschal on day two. No, neither of those two players are stopping me from bringing in Murphy and assembling a duo that can threaten Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Justin Fields on every play in the NFC North.

Detroit is just now turning the corner out of being a team that is building a foundation and instead is ready to create a winning edge. This can be it.

28. Brian Branch, S, Alabama

Another defensive player for the Lions? Absolutely. The overhaul needed in the aftermath of Matt Patricia's departure is real, and Brian Branch is a versatile weapon defensively who can move all around the formation and play in both base and sub-package sets. Time will tell how 2022 third-round pick Kerby Joseph develops, but he can co-exist with Branch even if Joseph turns into a hit—Branch can live in the slot and as a second-level defender in sub.

Sporting News - Iyer (9/3)

10. Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The Lions need some run-stuffing and inside pass-rushing pop to better support Aidan Hutchinson in Year 2 and can afford to go more defense first with another first-rounder from the Rams with which to address QB.

24. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

The Lions cannot ignore QB for two consecutive drafts and must find their true long-term franchise replacement for Jared Goff. They have the offensive line and deep weaponry to make Levis, a transfer from Penn State, feel comfortable right away getting the ball out quickly and delivering it downfield.

SI - Hanson (8/31)

7. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Jared Goff is under contract through 2024, but the Lions have a potential out after the upcoming season. Levis enters his second season as Kentucky's starter with experience playing under center in a pro-style offense. While he looks to improve his anticipation and accuracy this season, Levis has a prototypical size, a big arm and excellent mobility with the ability to make plays from both inside and outside the pocket.

28. Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army

The last Army prospect drafted was LB Caleb Campbell, whom the Lions took 218th in 2008. This time, I have Detroit using a much earlier pick on Carter, who recorded 15.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles in '21. Per PFF, his 26.0% pass-rush win rate ranked second among FBS edge defenders. Even though the Lions drafted Aiden Hutchinson No. 2 (and Josh Paschal in the second round), it'd be easy to see why Dan Campbell would love Carter's leadership and intangibles.

The Athletic - Baumgardner/Tice (8/31)

8. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Under Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes, the Lions have left little to the imagination about how they want to build their roster. And Simpson would just be another part of that emerging image. He is a top-tier athlete in space while also being versatile in coverage as an off-ball linebacker and as a blitzer. He'd be a perfect piece to add to a Lions defense that needs players for its front seven.

Quarterback, of course, will be looked at here — Jared Goff's contract becomes very movable after this season. With Stroud, Young and Levis already off the board, though, the Lions might decide that this pick isn't the time to pull the trigger.

27. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

No quarterback for the Lions at 27, either. If Lions fans are looking for names that could emerge for the 2023 draft, they should keep tabs on Miami's Tyler Van Dyke or Stanford's Tanner McKee. But Wilson is another strong, long-framed defensive player for the Lions to add to their front seven. He can stack and shed against offensive tackles to find ball carriers while also having enough athleticism and natural tools to offer upside as a pass rusher.

The Draft Network - Weissman (8/29)

8. Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia

There are many who believe that Jalen Carter is the second-best prospect in this class behind only Will Anderson Jr. For the Lions to sit and get him at pick No. 8 in this NFL mock draft is phenomenal value. Carter is an explosive and powerful interior defensive lineman who has the potential to be a game-wrecker. Putting Carter next to Aidan Hutchinson will give the Lions one of the better defensive lines in all of football.

28. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Detroit's defense is full of butt-kickers: Aidan Hutchinson, Jalen Carter, and now Trent Simpson. Talk about alpha.

Simpson is a long and explosive second-level defender who excels playing in space. He is a swiss army knife and can affect the game as a blitzer and in coverage. The Lions' defense would have the makings of a scary unit.

Pro Football Network - Fragozza (8/27)

4. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The battle for QB1 won't be settled until the end of the season. And even then, it may come down to one's preference.

C.J. Stroud is the bigger passer and has no issue pushing the ball downfield. His delivery is compact, and his confidence and poise grew exponentially as the season progressed. He won't heave the ball the furthest or run the fastest in the class, but Stroud wins games.

27. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Let's make one thing clear: Cam Smith is not Jaycee Horn. Sure, they both play with confidence and a physical edge for the Gamecocks, but that's about it. Smith doesn't have the elite tools Horn did, but he shuts down receivers with his football IQ, length, and ball skills.

ESPN - Reid (8/25)

8. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Levis is instinctive, tough and still ascending. He fits the mold of what the Lions have moved toward during the Dan Campbell/Brad Holmes regime. Jared Goff is a serviceable placeholder, but Levis could be someone Detroit could build around. He has a strong arm and plenty of mobility. Levis is a work in progress, though, and I'd like to see him develop his decision-making this season. He threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2021, and he ran for 376 more yards and nine more TDs.

27. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Landing spots for running backs in the first round are always tough to predict, but Robinson is a special talent at the position -- and he could be picked a lot higher than this. With an outstanding blend of speed, power and tackle-breaking ability, he has the potential to be an immediate game-changer at the next level. D'Andre Swift has struggled to stay healthy, and Jamaal Williams is on an expiring contract, so Robinson fits right into an offense that continues to add exciting young players -- including Levis earlier in this mock.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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