Detroit Lions post combine three round 2023 NFL mock draft
With two first rounders and five picks in the first three rounds the Detroit Lions address defense in this 2023 NFL mock draft.
The Lions are in a good spot to potentially contend in a weak NFC next year. Not only did they close out the season with a 8-2 record in the last ten games, but they have the assets to improve next season.
Offensively, they were top five in the league in both yards and points. Plus, the unit should only get better with last year’s first round pick Jameson Williams coming back healthy after missing most of last season with a knee injury.
It’s no secret that defensively they need to get a lot better to fulfill their potential next season and beyond. The unit was dead last in the league in yards last season, but through a couple of trades they have five picks in the first three rounds to address this.
So, without further ado let’s kick it off with the sixth overall pick.
This mock draft is run through a PFF Mock Draft Simulator.
Round One 6th overall: Devon Witherspoon CB Illinois
Quarterback is a possibility for the Lions as although Jared Goff had a good season last year he isn’t likely to be the long-term solution at the position. Although it’s certainly a possibility, the most likely scenario is they use this selection to address their defense.
Devon Witherspoon is a popular choice amongst mock drafts and by Lions fans and for good reason as he’s a very good player at a position of need.
Round One 18th overall: Nolan Smith Edge Georgia
With their next first round pick the Lions add to their edge rotation with Nolan Smith.
Smith made headlines at the combine with an absurd 4.39 40 yard dash. That athleticism and explosiveness shows up on tape as well and elevates his ceiling for what he can develop into as a pass rusher.
At 238 pounds he’s on the lighter side, which is worrisome. The good thing however, is that he’s someone who plays bigger than he actually is.
That was something that showed up consistently in run defense in his career at Georgia. He had no problem with taking on blocks and he often made plays in the backfield.
Adding him to the mix in an edge rotation that already includes Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston IV would be very intriguing.
Round Two 48th overall: Adetomiwa Adebawore DL Northwestern
With their next pick I’m projecting the Lions to once again add to their defense and once again add something who blew up the combine.
It can’t be understated how impressive Adetomiwa Adebawore combine performance was. At 282 pounds, Adebawore had a 4.49 40 yard dash, 37 ½” vertical, and 125” broad jump, all of which are absurd numbers at that weight.
Adebawore played both on the edge and interior over his time at Northwestern and he has the versatility to do either in the NFL.
In this mock draft scenario with the Lions already adding an edge rusher, they’d likely develop and play him more on the interior.
Round Two 55th overall: Zach Charbonnet RB UCLA
With Jamaal Williams being a free agent and D’Andre Swift seemingly not being valued by the Lions in a lead back role they could look to the draft for a lead back.
Zach Charbonnet in the late second round would be good value as he’s a good player who would look good in the Lions’ offense.
Charbonnet has been one of the best running backs in the nation the last two seasons for UCLA.
He has excellent contact balance as he consistently runs through tackles and drags defenders for extra yardage at the end of plays.
He also has good vision and cutting ability to spring himself into the open field.
He’s not a burner by any means, but his 4.53 40 yard dash is good for his run style and shows he’s fast enough to be a lead back in the NFL.
Round Three 81st overall: Michael Wilson WR Stanford
Michael Wilson will be an interesting evaluation as he’s a talented receiver but has unfortunately dealt with injuries throughout his college career
Over the last three seasons he’s played just 15 games, but he’s looked good while on the field and led the team in receiving yards his last full season in 2019.
Wilson projects as a contested catch type of receiver as he has solid size at 6-foot-1 ⅝, 213 pounds and it was something he did very well at Stanford.
The Lions currently have a number one receiver in Amon-Ra St. Brown who can do a bit of everything, Jameson Williams who can fulfill the speed, deep threat role in the offense, Michael Wilson could potentially be the red zone, contested catch type of receiver in this offense.