The 2023 NFL draft is finally here and once again, my guess is as good as any as to what is going to happen tonight. The Detroit Lions currently hold the 6th overall pick and the 18th overall pick, but either one of those could change in an instant. I have heard every rumor you could think of this week from trading up, trading back, drafting a QB, CB, Will Anderson, Jalen Carter... at this point they could draft me and I wouldn't be very surprised. With all of these rumors swirling a mere 6 hours from the draft, I am going to break down moves for Detroit that I would love, hate, and everything in-between.
Trading Up: HATE
I am almost always against trading up in the draft, and this year is no different. I do not believe the top talent in this draft is worth trading up for and I would be extremely disappointed if that is the route that the Lions choose to go. The only player that I could even somewhat justify trading up for is Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson, but I have concerns about him and don't think the move would ultimately be worth it.
Drafting a QB at 6: HATE
As much as I hate the idea of trading up in this draft, I hate the thought of drafting one of these QB's even more... and God help me if they trade up to draft a QB (puke). I am not very high on any QB in this draft and would be shocked if the Lions decided to draft one of them. I understand the argument for wanting a young guy but I just don't think this is the draft to get that guy. If Detroit ends up using pick 6 on a QB, I would want it to be Bryce Young or Anthony Richardson but I think there are far better players to take with that pick.
Trading Back: LOVE
I really hate trading up in drafts so naturally I really love trading back. I think Detroit is in a prime position tonight to trade back out of 6 and still land a really talented player that would fill a need on this team. If guys such as Bryce Young, Will Anderson, and Jalen Carter are off the board, I think trading back could be in the best interest for the Lions.
Drafting a CB at 6: EHH
It seems right now that drafting a CB, likely Devon Witherspoon or Christian Gonzalez may be the most likely move for Detroit if they stay at 6. I wouldn't hate this move as I think it's better than some positions that I've seen people wanting them to draft here, but I think there are bigger needs for this team. The Lions just went and got 3 DB's in free agency and traded former 2020 3rd overall CB Jeff Okudah to the Falcons. I think the Lions trust the guy's they signed this offseason and CB is a very hit or miss position this high in the draft. I think there are better options here, but when the dust settles, DB might be the best option available.
Drafting Jalen Carter: EHH
Georgia DT Jalen Carter is undoubtably one of the most talented players in this draft, if not the most talented. DT is, in my opinion, the biggest need for this team heading into 2023. However, Jalen Carter comes with a lot of baggage that I don't think would fit well with what Dan Campbell & Co. are trying to build. The Lions just had last year's 12th overall pick Jameson Williams suspended 6 games for an off the field issue and I think taking a shot on another guy with off the field issues is a big risk. While Carter would fill a huge need on the field, having him stay on the field may become the Lions new biggest need.
Drafting Bijan Robinson or another RB: HATE HATE HATE
This is the absolute worst case scenario for tonight. The Lions just let leading TD scorer Jamaal Williams walk this offseason in favor of free agent signee David Montgomery. Montgomery is a load to take down and will be a nice one-two punch with Deandre Swift. Drafting an RB in the first round is a complete waste of a pick. As I said, the Lions just had the leading TD scorer last season in Jamaal Williams, and I've got news for you. Jamaal Williams isn't a top 20 RB in this league. RB's hold the least amount of value on the football field and they are a product of what is around them. While Bijan might be flashy, he, nor any other RB, are going to be the difference in winning or losing football games. Tell me an RB that carried their team to the Super Bowl in the last 20 years... done already? Please for the love of God do not take an RB tonight Detroit.
Drafting a WR/TE at 18: EHH
After Jameson Williams was suspended last week for the first 6 games of next season, I have seen a lot of people wanting Detroit to take a pass catcher with pick 18. I am not so sold myself. While there should be a number of talented WR's and TE's available at 18, I do not think it is a huge need for Detroit. The Lions were not stacked at WR last season by any means and managed to do just fine. Their only real loss this offseason was DJ Chark and he wasn't a huge loss in my opinion. The Lions traded away former first round TE T.J. Hockenson before the deadline last year and used multiple no name tight ends to finish out the year and actually played better. I don't feel that a pass catcher is a huge need on this team at this time and I think they could find some good value in the later rounds of this draft. Besides, the Lions have used 2 first round picks on tight ends in the last 10 years and neither one panned out in Detroit.
Using both picks on the Defensive Line: LOVE
This is the absolute best case scenario for me tonight. I would absolutely love to see Detroit bolster that D line with two first rounders tonight, and if they are able to trade back a pick and still get 2 defensive linemen, more power to them! My ideal picks tonight would be Texas Tech edge Tyree Wilson and Pitt DT Calijah Kancey. This is assuming that Will Anderson is off the board at 6. There are a number of defensive linemen who should go tonight and I would be fine with just about any combination of them. Add two more young guys in with Aidan Hutchinson and that Lions D front will be a QB's nightmare for years to come. A great defensive line can make up for a subpar secondary, and thankfully for the Lions, the secondary was the main priority in FA. I believe the Lions could have a top 5 defense this season if this is the route they choose to go.
After further review, I believe that covers every possible scenario for the Lions in tonight's draft, but again, they could draft me and I wouldn't be surprised. Anything can happen tonight and I am hoping that the Lions heads are in the same place that mine is. Lastly, if Bijan Robinson is a Detroit Lion tomorrow morning, this will likely be the last time you hear from me. Thanks for reading and Go Lions!