Mel Kiper Reveals Pair of Dynamic Lions’ Picks Within Initial Mock Draft

Mel Kiper

Getty Mel Kiper on ESPN's set during the 2007 NFL Draft.

The Detroit Lions will be hearing a lot about what changes they can make for the future as the offseason evolves, and the next part of the calendar involves mock drafts.

To that end, an annual doozy was revealed on Wednesday, January 25 when ESPN sage Mel Kiper Jr. came out with his first mock draft. With two picks in the first round this coming year, the Lions were always going to be a popular team to analyze.

Kiper, like many, sees defense as the biggest need for the team when all is said and done, specifically help up front. So with pick six in the draft, he sends Detroit Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson.

As Kiper explained, Wilson could help the team against the run and the pass, and boost an already developing group with another quality young body.

“Wilson, the top true defensive end in this class, would help both. He can use his burst at the snap to beat offensive tackles on passing downs or use his 6-foot-6 frame to hold up against the run. An edge-rushing duo of Wilson and Aidan Hutchinson would be formidable, with surprise rookie James Houston working in on obvious passing downs,” Kiper wrote in the piece.

From there, with the 18th pick, Kiper had the Lions going with a cornerback to help solve a depth situation on the back end. As he explained, Gonzalez is going to have a strong pre-draft process that could make him irresistible to a needy team like Detroit.

“Jeff Okudah flashed the talent that made him the No. 3 overall pick in 2020, but he was still inconsistent, and there’s no surefire starter on the other side of the field. Gonzalez was a lockdown defender at Colorado before transferring to Oregon last year, where he picked off four passes and improved every week. He’s going to test really well at the combine in March too. This pick makes too much sense for a Detroit defense that badly needs an infusion of young talent in the secondary,” he wrote of Gonzalez.

Finding solutions at defensive line and at cornerback would be a huge win for the Lions, and would continue some of the early momentum that they seem to have found from this past season.

In terms of Kiper’s mock, this is where the process starts for Detroit at this point in time.

Wilson’s College Stats & Highlights

Should the Lions not end up with either Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr., Wilson would not be a bad consolation prize for a team that could use a little more beef in the trenches.

After starting his career with Texas A&M and putting up 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks as a freshman, Wilson transferred to Texas Tech, where he came into his own the next three years, posting 15.5 sacks and 29 total tackles. He finished his college career with 121 tackles, 17 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Tyree Wilson 2022 Texas Tech Highlights ⚔️ || HDTyree Wilson 2022 Texas Tech Highlights ⚔️ || HD Be sure to like and subscribe to Prince Highlights2023-01-12T20:30:04Z

Wilson is gifted athletically with a 6’6″ frame and an ability to move around up front on a line to cause havoc for both passers and running backs. That fact could lead him to be a significant piece for his new team in the league.

Gonzalez’s College Stats & Highlights

If the Lions are thinking about a cornerback, Gonzalez is sure to be high on the list this coming year for the team given his tools and abilities.

At 6’2″, Gonzalez could have the size that teams desire in a cornerback, while also being able to have a speed background in order to help Detroit’s situation on the back end.

During his split career between Oregon and Colorado, Gonzalez has been productive, and is seen as a high-riser. In the minds of some, he’s looked at as a player who has the status of being one of the best potential cornerbacks in the draft. He posted 128 tackles and four interceptions in his college career.

Christian Gonzalez 🔥 Top Cornerback in the Nation ᴴᴰChristian Gonzalez Highlights best cornerback nfl draft oregon db2022-12-17T00:02:47Z

With a dearth of young corners on the draft market, the Lions should be able to find a solution to this problem soon. Gonzalez might end up being one of the best when all is said and done, and his addition to the Lions along with Wilson’s could represent a huge boost.

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