The Lions added Trey Flowers on a massive contract in free agency, and no addition they make in the draft will likely be more impactful. Are we going to see a trade down from Detroit? The Lions' biggest need likely remains in the secondary, but the consensus feels that no defensive back is worth a top-10 pick.
Check out which picks the Lions currently have below, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Chris Trapasso and Ryan Wilson.
As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.
Current draft picks
|6||204||from New England|
The CBS Sports NFL writing staff to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, EDGE, INT DL, LB, DB
Pressing: RB, DB
Kerryon Johnson looked good as a rookie but Matt Patricia has shown precisely zero indication that he's willing to use him as an every-down back, so we still see that as a need, even after the signing of C.J. Anderson. (Theo Riddick is basically a receiver.) Damon Harrison is an elite run defender but right now the Lions have essentially nobody who can rush the passer from the interior, which is a problem in the modern NFL -- especially when you don't have anybody who can cover in the middle of the field. And considering we are not enthused with the secondary beyond Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs, that still looks like a need as well. (There's a reason the Lions had one of the NFL's worst pass defenses toward the end of last season.) The Devins -- White and Bush -- Montez Sweat and Brian Burns are the most popular targets in our mocks, and all would help the team's defense immensely.
War room big board
The Lions are prime candidates to trade down, not only because GM Bob Quinn indicated as much, but because the expected available talent doesn't mess well with their top needs. If they stay put, the most likely scenario is likely adding more edge rush talent or a legit No. 1 tight end. Here's how I'd project the Lions' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:
- EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
- LB Devin White, LSU
- TE Noah Fant, Iowa
- LB Devin Bush, Michigan
- TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
- DL Rashan Gary, Michigan
- EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
- EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State
Seven-round mock drafts
|1||8||to Atlanta|| |
|1||14||TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa||from ATL*|
|2||43||FS Nasir Adderley, Delaware|| |
|2||62||DE Joe Jackson, Miami||from NO*|
|3||79||to New Orleans||from ATL*|
|3||88||G Connor McGovern, Penn State||from PHI|
|4||111||to New Orleans|| |
|4||117||WR David Sills V, West Virginia||from ATL*|
|4||138||QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo||from PHI*|
|5||146||to Philadelphia|| |
|6||184||to New Orleans|| |
|6||202||WR Greg Dortch, Wake Forest||from NO*|
|6||204||OLB Chase Hansen, Utah||from NE|
|7||224||to Philadelphia|| |
|7||229||DE John Cominsky, Charleston||from MIA|
|7||231||CB Blace Brown, Troy||from NO*|
With GM Bob Quinn looking to move down, he finds a willing partner in a Falcons team eyeing Ed Oliver. After picking up a pair of mid-round picks, the Lions land a guy many think they could take at No. 8 anyway in Hockenson, a bona fide No. 1 tight end for the offense that will improve both the blocking up front and Matthew Stafford's passing-game options.
The Lions stay active later in the draft after securing an excellent free safety prospect in Adderley, whose potential at the NFL level far outpaces his small-school origins. He could also have a future at corner if the team would prefer to improve their options at that position instead. The Lions then trade back into Round 2, giving up the third-rounder they got in the earlier trade back plus a fourth to go get a strong edge rusher in Jackson, who could dominate if Matt Patricia can unlock his full potential. The team then snags someone to compete at right guard in McGovern, who could very well start immediately.
Sills gives the team depth outside at receiver, while Jackson's upside at quarterback is worth the move up, especially when all it costs is one of their seventh-rounders. If his accuracy could get a tick better, he could be a sleeper to emerge down the road. The Lions then trade back in the sixth before adding a young slot option to develop behind Danny Amendola. Hansen would be a steal late in the sixth round and could push for snaps as a rookie. Cominsky and Brown are solid depth options on defense who deserve to be drafted.
More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade
Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.