The Detroit Lions are finally pushing toward the most exciting part of their offseason as the 2020 NFL Draft will take place this week.
Leading into this year’s draft, the Lions have done some solid work in free agency to check off some huge needs. In spite of this, there are some spots that still need some work, and now that the Lions have done a solid job to fill out other needs, there is a chance for the team to square away some questionable spots on both offense and defense. Recently, with the help of The Draft Network’s simulation tool, our final mock of the offseason was put together, and it featured the team filling out some big needs on both sides of the ball with some young talent.
Here’s a look at the last 2020 mock draft of the season and who Detroit picks up:
Round 1, Pick No. 3 – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Barring a potentially expected or enticing trade down with a team chasing Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, or a miracle in the making with Chase Young, the most prudent pick for the Lions is probably Okudah, the elite cornerback from the Big Ten. That’s true especially now that Darius Slay is off the roster and the Lions have not made a major free agency splash minus Desmond Trufant. Perhaps in a situation like a trade down the Lions would consider Isaiah Simmons or Derrick Brown. For right now, Okudah still fits the bill and would give the Lions their best fit in the secondary in terms of talent and need. A very solid move across the board. The team may very well consider others, but if they are stuck at No. 3, Okudah could be the easy pick.
Round 2, Pick No. 35 – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
The Lions need to fortify the inside of their defensive front, and Blacklock is an excellent fit for the team as someone who could come in and do just that for the team. While playing for TCU, Blacklock might not have put up eye-popping numbers, but he has managed to be a solid force up front. In a pair of seasons for the Horned Frogs, he collected 67 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. For the Lions, Blacklock would be a perfect fit in the middle of the line and give the team another big body they could rely on to beef things up in the middle.
Round 3, Pick No. 67 – Bradlee Anae, Edge, Utah
Detroit needs some help on the edge, and Anae is an interesting option for the team when it comes to an aggressive player off the edge. The Utah product has put up a solid 29.5 sacks, 131 tackles and 5 forced fumbles in his career and is a hidden gem that could fit Detroit’s scheme perfectly. Is a third round pick a bit too soon for Anae? Possibly, but the Lions have to take a risk to make a big impact, and Anae could do that for the team’s needy pass rush. The Lions shouldn’t wait around to select a potential dynamic talent for their defensive front.
Round 3, Pick No. 85 – Zack Moss, RB, Utah
A hamstring injury didn’t stop Moss from having a solid NFL Combine. A thick runner, Moss harkens back memories of Marshawn Lynch, and that’s something which should get the attention of Bevell and Detroit’s offensive staff as they need a tough, durable complement to Kerryon Johnson. Moss would fit that bill, and he can do plenty of damage catching and running with the ball as well, making him a solid all-purpose back for the Lions to remember in the earlier rounds. Adding him would be a big win for the team’s needy ground game.
Round 4, Pick No. 99 – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
The Lions have some major questions up front, not the least of which is what will happen with Graham Glasgow. With it looking like Glasgow moves on, a player like Biadasz could be the ideal replacement given his toughness and size. Wisconsin linemen are routinely solid NFL pros, and Biadasz is an All-American and first team All Big Ten player. He could quietly slot in and give the Lions a seamless transition for the future along the middle of their line. This might be way late for Biadasz, but if he were to be on the board this late inside the top 100, the Lions would have to make the move.
Round 5, Pick No. 149 – Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky
The Lions could use another wide receiver, and with Bowden hanging around on the board this late, it doesn’t seem much of a gamble to pick him up. With 1,303 receiving yards to his credit and 6 touchdowns, Bowden is a big play player who could add an interesting element to the Detroit offense given his experience at quarterback. The Lions need help at wideout and Bowden is an intriguing athlete to remember in the middle rounds as a guy who could develop into something given 6-1 size.
Round 5, Pick No. 166 – Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M
The Lions need a punter, and while they might have one solution on the roster already, Mann is the best punter in the class far and away. The Lions lost Sam Martin to free agency, and when they picked him up, he was a fifth round selection. Mann could come in and give the team more competition at a key spot on special teams. Mann is well decorated as a first team SEC player as well as the Ray Guy winner in 2018.
Round 6, Pick No. 182 – Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Another wideout for Detroit? Some might see it as a gamble, but in this scenario, Cephus being around this late was too good of a situation to pass up. In college, Cephus put up a solid 1,496 yards and 9 touchdowns in a run-heavy Badgers offense. He's a player that has some potential that could be developed into something a little more, and with the Lions needing wideouts for the future, it's possible they could take a couple swings in the middle to late rounds at the position.
Round 7, Pick No. 235 – Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia
The Lions might not need quarterback at this point, but Perkins would be an interesting player to roll the dice on and see if they could get some quality depth at quarterback. Many have suggested a position switch for Perkins, but there’s a chance for him to make an impact at quarterback and the Lions probably need a bit more competition at the three spot.