The Detroit Lions have become an interesting team to watch down the stretch, as they have managed to find a few more wins than many folks might expect.
While this could lead them back into a jumbled NFC playoff race, the focus remains fixated on the 2023 NFL draft for some. Suddenly, the Lions figure to have a pair of elite picks that could place high next year.
Pro Football Focus put together a new mock draft led by writers Trevor Sikkema and Mike Renner. Within, they had the Lions netting a pair of fantastic defenders to boost the team.
Both players are from the Clemson Tigers, and the first checked in at pick eight in the form of Bryan Bresee, an interior monster in the ACC. As Sikkema said, he’s an athletic stud who is very explosive.
“This dude’s a former No. 1 overall recruit for a reason — it’s because his athleticism is off the charts. He’s 6-foot-5, 305 to 310 pounds, and he can explode from a three-tech position,” Sikkema wrote.
A few picks later, Detroit’s selection came up. Another Clemson player was the target, and Myles Murphy was the team’s pick at 11. Mike Renner had the analysis of this, and said that he sees traits with the former 2021 top pick in Travon Walker.
“Murphy is very much this year’s Travon Walker in that every box, physically, he is ticking. … He is that level of explosion where it doesn’t take too much in the way of technique, and the way of pass-rush moves to then become a massive impact player at the next level,” he wrote.
Taking a pair of elite talents and inserting them into a shaky defense would be huge for a Detroit team in need of playmaking. Safe to say if the draft played out this way, there would be few complaints from the Lions perspective, even in the absence of a big name quarterback.
Clemson Picks Would Boost Lions Defense
If the Lions landed a pair of defensive lineman within the first 15 picks of the draft next year, there wouldn’t be any way to spin that besides a positive for the team.
This season, outside of Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions have not managed to generate much pressure in the pocket. Alim McNeill has played well and come on strong, but both he and Hutchinson need help. Adding both of these players would provide a significant boost to the franchise.
Detroit’s defense has struggled on the back end, but if the team could stop the run better and pressure the pocket, it would be a huge bonus to them in the future. There’s no way that adding these two elite talents wouldn’t help things out for a woeful defense.
Lions’ 2023 Draft Needs
The Lions have plenty of needs in the 2023 draft, and most will figure to be on the defensive side of the football given how poorly the team has played this year in that spot.
On the back end, the Lions could use help at cornerback and safety since they have struggled with depth there. The team also needs more linebackers and perhaps defensive lineman to change the narrative in the trenches, seeing as the team is getting pushed around in a major way in those spots.
Offensively, the Lions may decide on a change at quarterback. If so, that’s likely to be their first pick in 2023, but given how Jared Goff has played for the most part and what the offense has done, that may not play out.
The Lions are seemingly loaded at the skill positions, but could decide on a new wideout or running back to help depth, and perhaps a tight end. Depth up front could be important for the team as well given the injuries in the trenches.
Adding players like this could be a huge bonus for the defensive future in Detroit, and mean a lot to the team.