| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford reacts to Dan Orlovsky’s latest tweet
Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford asked Jan. 3, 2021, about Dan Orlovsky tweeting that Sunday’s loss vs. the Vikings should be his last game as a Lion.
Lucky No. 7 — at least that’s what the next Detroit Lions coach and general manager hope.
The Lions will pick seventh in this year’s NFL draft after they lost their fourth straight game to end the regular season Sunday, 37-35, to the Minnesota Vikings, but failed to get help from the teams in front of them in the draft order.
The Lions entered the week at No. 7, with a chance to move as high as No. 3. but all six teams in front of them lost.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15) own the top pick of the draft and are expected to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall. The New York Jets (2-14) have the second pick, followed by the Miami Dolphins (via a trade with the Houston Texans), Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.
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Houston lost Sunday to the Tennessee Titans on a field goal as time expired, and Philadelphia failed to score a point in the second half of a 20-14 loss to Washington.
The Lions were one of three teams to finish 5-11, but had the weakest strength of schedule of the group. The Carolina Panthers pick eighth, the Denver Broncos ninth, and will rotate draft spots with the Lions in Rounds 2-7.
Had the Lions beat the Vikings, they would have picked 11th.
Instead, they will have a top-10 pick for the third straight year, the first time that has happened since they had six straight top-10 selections in 2002-07.
Last year, the Lions took Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 pick, and in 2019, they took Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at No. 8. Okudah had a rocky rookie season that ended when he underwent groin surgery last month. Hockenson finished second on the Lions with 67 catches in his second season and was selected for his first Pro Bowl.
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While Lawrence is a near lock to go No. 1, the rest of the top 10 is very much up for debate.
Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, wide receivers JaMarr Chase of LSU and DeVonta Smith of Alabama, and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons are other top prospects, and several quarterbacks could crack the top 10.
Ohio State’s Justin Fields and BYU’s Zach Wilson are vying to be the No. 2 quarterback prospect, while North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Alabama’s Mac Jones and perhaps Florida’s Kyle Trask are first-round talents.
The Lions have just two receivers — Quintez Cephus and Geronimo Allison — under contract for 2021 and will be looking to totally rebuild their defense this offseason. They also could be tempted to draft a quarterback if one of the top prospects falls to No. 7, or if they decide to part ways with Matthew Stafford.
Along with the Jaguars, the Jets, Falcons, Eagles, Falcons and Broncos could consider quarterbacks in the top 10.