Detroit Lions and the 2021 NFL draft: Latest news, analysis, predictions

Detroit Free Press

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The bro hugs are back.

Yes, the 2021 NFL draft is mere hours away, which means the Detroit Lions will soon be on the clock. 

Unless, of course, Brad Holmes decides to trade his first pick as general manager of the Lions. The Lions introduced a new GM, new head coach, new front office makeup and new starting QB this offseason. If Detroit holds onto the No. 7 pick, it should have its choice among the best nonpassers in the draft (quarterbacks are predicted to make up at least half of the first six picks in many mocks). 

[ Opinion: Bro hugs may be back at NFL draft, but is push for normalcy safe? ]

Some Michigan football players could be first-rounders, taken Thursday, while a few Michigan State football players are expected to be selected in coming days. Two Western Michigan football players cracked Mel Kiper’s last-minute prospect rankings, with Broncos versatile wideout D’Wayne Eskridge ranked 33rd overall (Dave Birkett wrote about his circuitous journey to a fringe first-round NFL prospect here)..

You can follow Birkett for all things Lions while Chris Solari is your man for Spartans coverage and Orion Sang has the word on the Wolverines.

RELATED: Predicting Detroit Lions’ NFL draft picks: 3 scenarios to love in Rounds 1-3

TRENDING: Lions reportedly tried to trade up for LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase at No. 4

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER TEAMS? Here’s how you can watch Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers at the same time Thursday

Wondering where to watch the draft? We got you: 

NFL draft time, TV, radio, 

When: Round 1, 8 p.m. Thursday; Rounds 2-3, 7 p.m. Friday; Rounds 4-7, noon Saturday.

Where: Cleveland.

TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network.

Radio: ESPN Radio.

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Predictions/analysis

Lions GM Brad Holmes doesn’t need to pretend he will draft a quarterback at No. 7

Detroit Lions at No. 7 in NFL draft: Five players who likely fit in Brad Holmes’ ‘cluster’

Brad Holmes may have driven up the asking price for No. 7 pick in NFL draft

Opinion: Stay away from OL or WR in NFL draft, Lions must get playmaker on defense instead

Why Brad Holmes’ chance to forge new Lions era truly begins Thursday 

Kirk Herbstreit: Detroit can’t go wrong taking Trey Lance, Justin Fields at No. 7

Lions may need help from a higher power to help them crush 2021 NFL draft

If trade downs are tough to find, Detroit should spot good options at 7 in NFL draft

Mailbag: Best free agent signing, dream 2021 NFL draft scenarios

Positional previews

Quarterback: Rebuilding Lions appear to be kicking QB decision to future

Running back: Lions largely set at RB; Najee Harris stands apart as top prospect

Receiver/tight end: Lions have options to restock offense in deep WR class

Offensive lineman: Lions could be tempted by these two tackles at No. 7

Defensive lineman: Lions looking for DL upgrades; Michigan’s Kwity Paye is top edge rusher

Linebacker: Detroit Lions need LB help, but how early is too early to take one?

Defensive back: Lions hunting for secondary help a year after taking Jeff Okudah

Special teams: Lions to draft a long snapper again

What Brad Holmes has said

Detroit eyeing cluster of players at 7 in NFL draft. Here’s what GM is looking for

How Lions GM Brad Holmes is making do in ‘most unusual draft’ ever

Holmes: ‘I like the QBs coming out in this year’s draft’

How the draft, free agency convinced the Lions not to franchise Kenny Golladay

Mock drafts 

Dave Birkett’s mock draft 4.0: Detroit Lions land one of top non-QB prospects at No. 7

Dave Birkett’s mock draft 3.0: Analyzing 3 potential trade down options for Detroit Lions

NFL mock draft 2021: USA TODAY Network experts explain first-round picks

USA TODAY’s final NFL mock draft 2021: Lions surprise in with trade out of top 10 

More on potential picks

Kwity Paye leads group of Michigan football players who will entice teams in NFL draft

The prize is in the journey: Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge chasing NFL dream

If Lions pass on top QBs in draft, Stanford’s Davis Mills could be mid-round steal

Mailbag: Is ideal pick at No. 7 Penei Sewell, Kyle Pitts or Trey Lance?

Father knows best: 3 top CB NFL draft prospects following their dads’ footsteps

Why Detroit must pick Kyle Pitts, a potential revolutionary, in NFL draft

Michigan State CB Shakur Brown shares NFL draft prep with Free Press

Lions can’t go wrong by taking Oregon OT Penei Sewell at No. 7 in NFL draft

Miami DE Jaelan Phillips offers intrigue, potential as NFL draft’s boom or bust prospect

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at tjdavis@freepress.com or on Twitter @TDavisFreep.

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