Mock Draft Gets Lions New Franchise Quarterback, Stud Big Ten Defender

Joey Porter Jr.

Getty Joey Porter Jr. on the field for Penn State in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have some meaningful football left to be played the rest of the 2022 season, but of course, it’s still never too early to be thinking about the 2023 NFL draft.

When the time comes to pick, the Lions will have four selections within the first two rounds to work with toward patching some of their bigger holes on the roster. Right now, a few of the biggest needs on the team revolve around the quarterback spot and defensive backs.

Good news for the Lions? There figures to be plenty of potential fixes for both of those spots on the roster coming up in this particular draft.

Within a brand new mock at ESPN from insiders Matt Miller and Jordan Reid, the Lions grabbed Kentucky’s Will Levis with a top selection at seven.

“Detroit is in a spot to get a potential franchise quarterback and then let him learn under Goff. It also has a good offensive line and playmakers on offense, which helps any young passer. Levis is the only available QB you could really value here, though,” Miller wrote.

Reid agreed, and said that while Levis has made some mistakes, there are some solid traits

“Yes, he definitely needs to take better care of the ball, but it’s clear he has physical traits that scouts covet. The ball comes out of his hand with velocity, and NFL coordinators can design schemes around his competitive running ability. He definitely fits in Detroit,” Reid wrote.

From there, the picks rolled on, and with the ninth selection, defensive help was on the way in the form of Joey Porter Jr. from Penn State. The duo was in consensus of Porter being a great pick for the Lions given what he brings to the table.

“The son of the star pass-rusher for the Steelers in the 2000s, Porter has great recovery quickness and physicality in coverage, and he has excelled when tested by NFL-caliber receivers. I’d take his 6-foot-2, 200-pound size, toughness and instincts over the other top cornerbacks in this class,” Miller wrote.

In both these cases, the Lions landed players that should be able to help their rebuild. No matter where both of their picks fall, it’s clear that the team is going to have to find a way to land such players to help both sides of the ball in the future.

Levis’ College Stats & Highlights

While at Kentucky, Levis has been a big play waiting to happen for the Wildcats during his entire career statistically.

Originally a Penn State transfer, Levis has put up 5,688 yards, 44 touchdowns and 25 interceptions through the air. He’s also claimed 752 total rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns so far through the last weeks of the 2022 season.

Here’s a look at what Levis has done on the field so far in his career within a 2021 highlight package:

It’s clear there is some major talent there for Levis to rely on, and he will be one of the more sought after prospects if he tests well and goes through the process as others have in the past in a similar position.

Given the talent in the SEC, it isn’t a stretch to think that the Lions could indeed decide to tap Levis in the end when all is said and done. All eyes will be on him to see what happens during the rest of the 2022 season and during the draft process.

Porter’s College Stats & Highlights

In terms of Porter, there is a lot to like about the young cornerback as this piece alluded to. He’s been battle tested in the Big Ten and has elite NFL bloodlines considering former linebacker Joey Porter is his father.

Clearly, Porter is his own man in terms of his play, though, which is something that he has proven time and again when playing for Penn State. Statistically, he’s been solid given he has racked up 112 total tackles, one interception and 20 passes defended in a four year career with the Nittany Lions.

Between Porter and Levis, the Lions would be in good shape moving forward at two key positions on the field. These would be a good pair of building blocks for a very needy roster in terms of depth.

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