Lions mock draft roundup: WRs become consensus pick

Pride of Detroit

Last week’s Mock Draft round up featured the usual top pass-catchers and Micah Parsons, but missing for the first time since January was any quarterback being connected to the Detroit Lions. With the recent trades at the top of the draft, this may be a trend that continues—but they’re not quite gone this week.

Instead, it’s a different mock draft regular who almost missed the list this week. Let’s take a look at who was projected to the Lions over this past week.

Currently being mocked by Doug Farrar (Touchdown Wire)

Farrar’s mock was full of chaotic inducing trades at the top of the draft—including Deshaun Watson to the Jets and Russell Wilson to the Dolphins—which resulted in both Fields and Trey Lance (North Dakota State) being available at No. 7 when the Lions were on the clock. Obviously this mock is moot after the actual trades that happened yesterday, but that’s part of the fun of these exercises.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Currently being mocked by Joe Marino (The Draft Network), Michael Renner (PFF), Josh Edwards (CBS Sports), Kyle Yates (Fantasy Pros), Matthew Valdovinos (Pro Football Network), Jason Pruett (NFL Draft Plex), Glynn Morgan (NBC Sports Chicago), The Score staff

Marino: “Detroit is overhauling its wide receiver room and there is still plenty of room to go. Chase is a bully at the position who plays a physical brand of football, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an excellent route-runner that can separate. He has exceptional ball skills and can make plays at all levels of the field. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver the Lions’ offense is missing that the passing game can be funneled through.”

Renner: “Given Dan Campbell’s press conferences, one might think that they’ll be drafting only linebackers and fullbacks this year, but G.M. Brad Holmes has already shown that he knows where the game is won. Forget about the “tone-setters,” Chase plays a valuable position and is too special a talent to pass up here.”

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Currently being mocked by Luke Easterling (Draft Wire), Bucky Brooks (NFL.com), Vinnie Iyer (The Sporting News), Jon Ledyard (The Pewter Report), Bryan Fischer (Athlon Sports), Scott Smith (Buccaneers.com), Clarence Hill Jr. (The Star-Telegram), Tim Bielik (Cleveland.com) Randy Gurzi (NFL Spin Zone), Ian Fitz (NFL Draft Buzz), Draft Tek, Tankathon

Brooks: “The loss of Kenny Golladay makes finding a No. 1 receiver a top priority. Waddle is a game-breaker with the speed and explosiveness to create big plays in the passing game.”

Iyer: “Waddle is a highly skilled all-around natural pass-catcher. He can run all the routes at a high level, from flashing as a deep threat to finishing well in the red zone. The Lions need to overhaul at wide receiver with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola all not re-signed. Former Jet Breshad Perriman for the outside isn’t enough. Here’s the No. 1 option they need for new quarterback Jared Goff as Waddle can play well off the receiving skills of running back D’Andre Swift and tight end T.J. Hockenson.”

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Currently being mocked by Mel Kiper (ESPN), Kyle Crabbs* (The Draft Network), Kristopher Knox (Bleacher Report), Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports), Tom Fornelli* (CBS Sports), Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports), Dalton Miller (Pro Football Network), Ryan Gosling (Pro Football Network) *denotes trade

Kiper: “The Lions’ projected starters at wide receiver? New signings Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. There’s not much else behind them, with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. both signing elsewhere. I would say this pick is likely going to the best wideout on the board, and Smith would be a tremendous choice. The Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t have the biggest frame (6-foot-1, 175 pounds), but you shouldn’t underestimate him. He is one of the best route runners I’ve scouted, and he beats any corner put in front of him. Detroit is clearly rebuilding, so I also wouldn’t be surprised if it trades down to pick up more draft capital.”

Kyle Pitts, Big Skill, Florida

Currently being mocked by Dave Birkett (Free Press)

Birkett’s reasoning is behind a paywall.

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Currently being mocked by Albert Breer (SI: MMQB)

Breer’s reasoning is behind a paywall.

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Currently being mocked by Jason Lieser (Chicago Sun-Times)

Lieser: “Parsons’ versatility and uncommon speed are reminiscent of Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith.”

Despite putting on a show at his pro day and mentioning that he has had contact with the Lions “a couple of times” this offseason, surprisingly, only one mock drafter of note paired him with the Lions this week.

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