The Detroit Lions are on the clock in our 2023 POD Community Mock Draft. Let’s run through the top candidates.
The 2023 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft has reached the all-important sixth overall pick. That selection, of course, belongs to the Detroit Lions , and the acting general manager of our home team is the one and only Erik Schlitt.
Here’s a look at the board he is facing:
No. 1: Carolina Panthers
: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
No. 2: Houston Texans : C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
No. 3: Arizona Cardinals : Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
No. 4: Indianapolis Colts : Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
No. 5: Seattle Seahawks : Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
Though the order may be a little unconventional, these five prospects going before the Lions’ pick at six has been extremely common in most mock drafts these days, and many Lions fans have been mulling over this exact scenario.
Erik’s pick will be revealed on Sunday. So, for now, let’s have a spirited debate on who the pick should be. Here are the top five options for the Lions with this pick:
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The quarterback debate in Detroit wages on, as the Lions are nearing a fork in the road with Jared Goff. The Lions are in a unique position to grab a quarterback for several reasons:
- They don’t have a lot of immediate needs right now
- They have a ton of draft capital
- Goff affords them the ability to take a quarterback and let them develop and acclimate to the NFL game
While many see the Lions as a contend-now team in dire need of hitting on an immediate-impact player at six to potentially push them over the top, general manager Brad Holmes has consistently spoken of the importance of keeping the future in mind. What’s best for the franchise may not be what’s best for just 2023.
Levis is viewed as many as QB4 in this year’s draft, but many of his physical gifts are undeniable. He’s got size, speed, and a wicked arm, but the accuracy understandably has many concerned.
Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
We know how much Holmes values the trenches, but this would certainly be an out-of-the-box pick at six. The idea behind making this pick would likely be to play Skoronski at guard for the first year or two—his short arms have some projecting him inside anyways—and then to move him to tackle if/when the Lions decide to move on from Taylor Decker in 2025.
That’s how you keep a strength a strength on your roster, but it would also potentially be taking the “Best Player Available” strategy to an extreme.
Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
.@MoveTheSticks said some teams have Tyree Wilson as EDGE1, and after watching him that does not seem weird at all.
He seems like an absolute nightmare to play against. Plays with violence. If he makes it to Dan Campbell, that would be a no-brainer
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) March 29, 2023
With the Lions just barely missing out on Anderson, Wilson is arguably not even a consolation prize. With ridiculously long arms and an aggressive attitude, Wilson could be Detroit’s long-term pairing with Aidan Hutchinson and suddenly be part of one of the best edge defender combos in the league.
Last year, Wilson produced the sixth-best win percentage in the country on pass rushing snaps, per PFF, and he’s a well-balanced run defender, as well.
Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Perhaps the most commonly mocked player to the Lions at six overall, it’s easy to see Witherspoon’s fit in Detroit. He 100 percent has the gritty mentality that will draw the adoration from Dan Campbell, despite the slightly undersized frame. Witherspoon is a physical corner who can fit just about any scheme the Lions want to run. And while Detroit attacked the cornerback position heavily in free agency, they still do not have a clear plan for the future at the position.
Oh, and Witherspoon also had PFF’s highest coverage grade (92.5) of any cornerback in the country last year and finished second in passer rating allowed (25.3) when targeted.
Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Gonzalez is your prototypical NFL cornerback when it comes to size (6-foot-1, 197) and athleticism (9.94 RAS ), but he’s not just a collection of numbers. He put those physical traits on display, especially after transferring from Colorado to Oregon in 2022. Last year, he tallied four interceptions, seven pass breakups, and a PFF coverage grade of 83.9.
Like Witherspoon, he’s a scheme-versatile cornerback, but he likely works best when he can use his size in press-man coverage—something the Lions used quite often last year.
Let’s hear it, who do you want the Lions to pick in this scenario?