The Detroit Lions completely overhauled key pieces of their organization this offseason, and for the first time in more than a decade, Matthew Stafford won't be the team's starting quarterback. New GM Brad Holmes, head coach Dan Campbell and quarterback Jared Goff lost a trio of starting receivers in free agency -- Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola -- so that position figures to be a top priority in the draft.
But the Lions have a litany of needs, outside of running back and the offensive line. Which rookies could be on their radar? Which positions will they prioritize?
Here's one stab at how the Lions' entire 2021 draft will play out:
|Round (Overall Pick)||Prospect||College|
WR Devonta Smith
CB Tyson Campbell
LB Jamin Davis
DL Osa Odighizuwa
S Jamar Johnson
WR Cornell Powell
Smith was a no-brainer at No. 7 overall, given the vacancies in the receiver room. He's an elastic separator with deceptive speed and the catch radius of a 6-foot-5 receiver.
Even after picking Jeffrey Okudah at No. 3 overall in 2020, the Lions have giant needs at cornerback, and Campbell is another tall, man-coverage specialist with high-level athletic traits. He'd represent fine value at the top of the second round. The linebacker spot has long plagued Detroit's defense, and Davis in Round 3 would provide the Lions with a long, rangy, three-down, second-level defender who can comfortably sink in zone or run with tight ends down the seam.
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As for the rest of the Lions' draft -- Odighizuwa is a leverage monster on the inside who routinely pushes the pocket with a nasty bull rush and rapid pass-rushing moves. He's even athletic enough to take some reps on the edge if need be. Probably the best value pick in the class came at No. 112 overall with Johnson from Indiana.
He has legitimate free-safety range in coverage but hits like a strong safety and has the athletic juice to stick with some receivers and backs in coverage. Powell adds more depth to receiver, and he's a big, chiseled perimeter target who runs crisp routes and tracks it beautifully downfield.
What's missing? Probably an edge rusher, but the re-signing of Romeo Okwara mitigated that need for the Lions.