Dane Brugler of The Athletic has a new mock draft, and it features a bold trade for your Detroit Lions.
With four of the top-60 picks in April’s draft, the Detroit Lions are in an enviable position for the 2023 NFL Draft. They can four very good young players to an already young and promising roster, or general manager Brad Holmes has some capital to move around if he wishes.
There’s a strong case for the Lions to just stand pat with their two top-20 overall picks (No. 6 and No. 18), and another in the top-50, and abide by the “best player available” philosophy. But where would the fun in that be? Especially now that we’re in mock draft season.
Mock draft from The Athletic features Detroit Lions trade
At No. 6 overall, Brugler has the Lions going somewhat chalk with a popular player for Detroit in early mock drafts. Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez.
Christian Gonzalez flashed enough at Colorado to earn the No. 9 spot on my summer top-50 board, and he lived up to that hype in his one season at Oregon. With his speed/length athletic profile and the Lions’ need at cornerback, Gonzalez (the brother-in-law of former Lions’ backup quarterback David Blough) should be on Detroit’s short list for its first of two Round 1 picks.”
Apart from his clear talent to fill a top need for the Lions, and his being in the conversation as the best cornerback in this draft class, I can’t be the only one who just learned Gonzalez’s sister is married to former Lions’ quarterback David Blough.
With their second first-round pick, Brugler has the Lions making a move up to No. 15 overall for a quarterback.
In last year’s first round, the Lions made a major trade with a division foe to move up for a high-upside offensive star (Jameson Williams). They could do it again this year and invest in their future at the quarterback position.”
Thanks to his size, athleticism and arm, Anthony Richardson is a total freak show with a high ceiling, but he’s still figuring out how to be a consistent passer. Jared Goff’s presence would let Detroit develop Richardson at his own pace.”
The “making a trade with a division rival” thing is irrelevant and often overblown. Not that Brugler blew it out of proportion, but leaving that aside…
Richardson (6-foot-4, 236 pounds), checks all the boxes for the physical traits desired in an NFL quarterback. Size, mobility, strong arm, etc. you name it. But consistency was a thing during his only full season as the starter at Florida, as he completed less than 54 percent of his passes, and he is very raw. Sitting behind Jared Goff for a year would seem to be ideal for him.
The move from No. 18 to No. 15 with the Packers costs the Lions their own second-round pick in Brugler’s scenario. Having that extra second-rounder from the T.J. Hockenson trade puts parting with one or the other on the table if there’s a move up out there, in a broad sense.
At pick 55 in the second round, Brugler has the Lions taking Notre Dame edge rusher Isaiah Foskey.