The Detroit Lions are focusing on what their next moves are in free agency and the draft, and as a result, there are bound to be several different plans set forth in multiple mock drafts in the coming months.
So far, there’s been a light consensus that the Lions could prefer to go with offense and perhaps draft a wide receiver early on. They have obvious needs on defense, however, and could certainly look to fill them with a high draft selection. But who makes the most sense?
Folks going defense for the Lions in the draft have been few and far between at this point in time, but in an interesting new update, NFL Network draft insider Daniel Jeremiah has the Lions grabbing Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the seventh pick while ignoring the need for wideouts.
As for why, Jeremiah writes:
“The Super Bowl showed us what speed and athleticism at the second level can do for a defense. Parsons brings those tools to Detroit.”
There is no doubting Parsons could be a good addition for the linebacker-needy Lions, but will the team decide they have such a need that they reach for him within the top 10 without a trade? That’s hard to know, and it will likely remain cloudy without a true NFL Combine experience this offseason.
Jeremiah’s mock has the wideouts slipping down the board a bit, and perhaps not being as desirable before and just after Detroit picks.
Will Lions Prioritize Offense or Defense Within NFL Draft?
The Lions have a big choice to make. Will they fill an immediate need at wide receiver with one of the best players in what seems to be a deep class, or will they grab the best player they can on defense? Plenty will depend on what happens in free agency and what the Lions determine to be the biggest needs they have when all is said and done.
Obviously, with the team’s needs in terms of pass catchers perhaps being magnified by the loss of several star players, the immediate thought could be for the Lions to go with a wideout. The depth situation at the spot might lend to this as well, with only Quintez Cephus guaranteed to be on the roster for 2021 at this point.
Nevertheless, linebacker and upgrades on defense remain a need as well. It will be fascinating to see which spot gets more of the love from the team for an upgrade.
Micah Parsons Stats and Highlights
Parsons figures to be in-play for the draft next season within the top 10 when the Lions pick, and the former Penn State linebacker figures to be a player that the team considers strongly thanks to their need not only on defense, but in the spot he plays. In college, Parsons was special, racking up 191 total tackles, 6.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. The numbers would have been even better had Parsons not sat out the 2020 season, but it’s clear he is going to be one of the top picks in the draft as these clips show.
Parsons being in the mix to be selected by Detroit at pick seven would not be a surprise, but it will be fascinating to see if it’s offense or defense.