With the draft not far off the horizon, more and more analysts are giving their best guesses on what teams will do come draft day. Local Michigan resident Ian Cummings from Pro Football Network pushed out a 3-round mock, and below were his selections for the Lions.
1st round- Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
2nd round- Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
3rd round (1st)- Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
3rd round (2nd)- Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri
For some Lions fans, it makes their skin crawl thinking about Detroit taking yet another tight end, but Pitts’ skill set offers more than your stereotypical tight end. He processes the speed, length, and explosiveness to turn your offense from good to great. With T.J. Hockenson on the other side, and Josh Hill taking care of the blocking assignments, Anthony Lynn and Dan Campbell can be as creative as they want to and exploit the defense at will.
The days of stuck-in-the-mud linebacker play from the Lions look to be long gone with Alex Anzalone’s signing and resigning of Jalen Reeves-Maybin. The new regime is putting a premium on athleticism, and Werner has it for days.
During his time at Ohio State, Werner was heavily used as a SAM linebacker due to his length, coverage ability, physical play, and strong instincts. Even Anzalone will probably earn the starting SAM gig, but it could give Werner the time to get acclimated only on a one-year deal.
It is no kept secret the Lions are in desperate need of receiver help after losing their top three from last year. The selection of Pitts helps mitigate the receiving issue, but the Lions need additional help, hence selecting Dyami Brown.
Brown has a strong athletic ability that allows him to get open no matter where he lines up and gains separation with ease. Even though he makes his money as a vertical threat, he could potentially play in the slot as well, a position the Lions are looking to fill with Breshard Perriman and Tyrell Williams on the outside.
Safety is an underrated need for the Lions, with only Tracy Walker, Will Harris, and C.J. Moore handling the field’s deep part. With Walker looking to find a home as the strong safety, Detroit could be looking for a center fielder, and Gillespie could be the man to fill that need. He may be raw at times, but he’s a versatile chess piece that processes strong instincts and effectively cover tight ends.
He probably won’t start day one, but he can find a key place on special teams till he is ready.
Cummings did a good job at tagging potential candidates that could fill some of the many holes this Lions roster currently processes, but doubling up on receiving options seems like a luxury. One could argue that offensive tackle, cornerback, or defensive line help is a strong need for the Lions.
Some of the options available for the Lions for this first third-round selection in this particular mock draft were Oregon CB/S Jevon Holland, Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield, and Louisana Tech DT Milton Williams, all of whom could compete for starting roles with how the current roster is set up.