The 2023 NFL Draft takes place with the first round on Thursday, April 27. The Detroit Lions have two picks within that while also holding two picks for the second round on Friday.
Mock draft experts have reached their conclusions on who the Lions might draft with those picks, and we’ll delve through those predictions to find insight when it comes to Detroit’s top four choices in the draft.
First round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech; Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
Peter King: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama; Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Matt Miller: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois; Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
Ryan Wilson: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa; Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
PFF: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (trade up); Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Adam Caplan: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Chad Reuter: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois; Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
The Lions have the No. 6 and No. 18 overall selections in the first round. As for their needs in the draft, take your pick. The defense stands at the top of the list while searching for impact players at every level. The interior offensive line needs to be addressed as well, and the Lions could try to find a future quarterback if things work out.
Most mock drafts have Devon Witherspoon (CB - Illinois) going No. 6 overall, then Calijah Kancey (DT - Pittsburgh) getting scooped up with the No. 18 pick. That’s a great one-two punch for the Lions, and it seems to be one of the most probable scenarios for the first round.
However, the wild cards include trading up for C.J. Stroud (QB - Ohio State), Will Anderson (EDGE - Alabama) or Tyree Wilson (DE - Texas Tech) falling, or reaching for Lukas Van Ness (EDGE - Iowa). The Lions probably wouldn’t pass on Anderson or Wilson at No. 6, but it doesn’t seem like either will fall into their hands.
Second round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama; Drew Sanders, ILB, Arkansas
Matt Miller: Jack Campbell, ILB, Iowa; Derick Hall, DE, Auburn
Ryan Wilson: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah; Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan
Chad Reuter: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon; Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
The Lions have a pair of second round picks as well, checking in with No. 48 and No. 55 overall. The latter came via trade with the Minnesota Vikings.
It seems like Detroit will keep loading up on defense in the second round. Also, the Lions could use a tight end after trading away T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings last season. Although the mock drafters can’t seem to agree on which players in particular will go to Detroit, the consensus seems to indicate that the Lions are looking linebacker and tight end here.
Jahmyr Gibbs (RB - Alabama) is somewhat of a wild card. Detroit’s leading rusher from 2022, Jamaal Williams, signed with the New Orleans Saints this offseason. There’s a chance the Lions will look to replace that production with a rookie.