Detroit Lions land offensive duo from the SEC in 2023 ESPN mock draft

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions moved their quest for a young quarterback to the 2023 draft, and in a new ESPN mock they get a potential quarterback of the future.

With no quarterback worthy of the No. 2 overall pick this year and an eventual move up to No.12 overall, the Detroit Lions punted their move for a young quarterback to the 2023 draft. Even with the strong prospect of winning more games in 2022, having two-first round picks again will hopefully position them to get a quarterback who looks like a long-term answer.

Since it’s never too early for such things, ESPN released a 2023 mock draft on Tuesday morning (subscription required). Analyst Matt Miller, using ESPN’s Football Power Index, had the Lions picking No. 8 and No. 28 overall, the latter pick of course via the Rams and the Matthew Stafford trade.

With the eighth overall pick, the Lions got Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. Hat-tip to SI.com for Miller’s words here, as well as for the Lions’ second pick.

Levis might no longer be a sleeper as he has entered the household conversation this summer. He has many fans in the NFL, thanks to his size (6-foot-3, 232 pounds), arm strength and gunslinger style of play,” “Of the top three quarterbacks, he might have the most well-rounded skill set as a thrower, scrambler and designed runner. Levis has to cut down on interceptions — he had 13 last season — but his 33 total touchdowns, including nine on the ground, have evaluators intrigued to see another season.

Detroit Lions double-up on SEC offensive players in early 2023 mock

Levis had a breakout season in 2021 at Kentucky, completing 66 percent of his passes for 2,826 yards with 24 touchdowns (and the aforementioned 13 interceptions). He also had 107 carries for 376 yards with nine touchdowns on the ground. Looking at his game-by-game numbers his consistency could get better, but he had a respectable outing against a Georgia defense filled with NFL prospects (32-for-42 for 192 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions).

With the No. 28 pick, Miller has the Lions taking Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton.

Burton is another transfer who is expected to star in 2022, as the former Georgia wideout could emerge as WR1 for Bryce Young in a pass-first offense at Alabama,” “He averaged 17 yards per catch and had eight touchdowns over the past two seasons. Watch his output soar for the Crimson Tide. Detroit, meanwhile, could pair Burton with former Bama star Jameson Williams, whom the Lions traded up for in Round 1 in April.”

Burton looks like the next in the pipeline of Crimson Tide wide receivers to get an opportunity and cash it in as a high NFL draft pick. The Georgia transfer averaged 17 yards per catch with eight touchdowns over his two seasons in Athens, including 19.1 yards a catch with five touchdowns last season. The Lions of course moved up to take Jameson Williams in this year’s draft, and they would pair Burton with him to load up at wide receiver.

So what do you think, Lions’ fans? A potential quarterback of the future in Levis and another early wide receiver in Burton with next April’s two first-round picks? It’s obviously very early, but let the 2023 draft speculation begin.

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