In a new three-round mock draft after the Super Bowl, the Detroit Lions address the defensive side of the ball.
The 2021 season is now over with Super Bowl LVI in the books. The Detroit Lions have been in offseason mode for a little over a month now, with a trip to the Senior Bowl in Mobile to kick of the pre-draft process in earnest in early February.
Free agency will be helpful, but the Lions will still surely have needs across the board to address in the draft–even if it’s simply for depth at some spots. In particular, all three levels of a defense that wasn’t especially strong in any area and downright bad in some areas will need a lot of help.
For the week after the Super Bowl, the Lions mostly address the defense in a new, three-round mock–courtesy of the Pro Football Network mock draft simulator.
Detroit Lions 3-Round Mock Draft: Getting defensive the week after the Super Bowl
With Aidan Hutchinson going at No. 1 to Jacksonville, Thibodeaux becomes the no-brainer pick at No. 2 for the Lions here. Thibodeaux had “only” seven sacks in 2021, but he still registered a high-end pressure rate along with 12 tackles for loss as he got extra attention from opponents.
Some might call for the Lions to get cute and take a player at another position if Hutchinson is taken No. 1, and a trade down isn’t out of the question when they really land on the clock here. But with all trade offers turned down in this mock, I took Thibodeaux and moved on.
The Lions need help at wide receiver, and with no match of player and value I particularly liked at non-edge rusher defensive positions and deciding to pass on a quarterback, Bell became the choice to wrap up the first round.
Bell was Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2019, with 86 receptions for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. Following a good run in the shortened 2020 season (53 catches, eight touchdowns in six games), he leveled up with 93 catches for 1,286 yards (with six touchdowns) in 2021.
Bell has good size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and all-around skills. His timed speed at the NFL Combine in a couple weeks will be worth watching. He’s widely landing as a late first-round pick in mock drafts.