It’s not an earth-shattering development, but Todd McShay has the Detroit Lions adding two pieces to their defense in his new mock draft.
In theory, the Detroit Lions can viably go multiple different directions with their two first-round picks in April. Ask fans, and they want defense, defense, defense. That thought is certainly justified, given how bad the unit was on the whole this past season.
ESPN’s Todd McShay is out with his second mock draft for this year (subscription required).
At No. 6, McShay was Detroit taking Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy.
I think Detroit sticks with Jared Goff and uses this pick on a porous defensive unit. I considered a cornerback, but Murphy has a much higher grade than my CB1 — and the defense needs support at multiple positions. It couldn’t stop anyone last season, allowing a league-high 6.2 yards per play. Adding Murphy’s speed off the edge to a group that already includes 2022 first-rounder Aidan Hutchinson and surprise rookie standout James Houston immediately moves the defense forward.
Murphy had at least 10.5 tackles for loss in all three of his seasons at Clemson. Over the last two seasons, he had 14.5 sacks, 25.5 tackles for loss and 76 total quarterback pressures.
The Lions are lined up to have some turnover at the edge rusher spot, with Charles Harris and Romeo Okwara as potential cap casualties. The refrain that you can never have enough pass rushers fits here, and Murphy is also a good run defender to help an area of concern there off the edge. He turned 21 in January, so he’ll be one of the youngest players in this year’s draft.
Detroit Lions still get a cornerback with second first-round pick in McShay mock
McShay said almost went with a cornerback for the Lions at No. 6. At pick 18, he fulfilled the notion with Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo.
There will be a lot of opinions about his game, but Ringo has a lot of upside. He has speed and length, and he’s very good in press coverage. Plus, he hauled in two interceptions in each of his seasons at Georgia. Jeff Okudah has flashed the traits that made him the No. 3 pick in 2020, but even if he takes the next step, Amani Oruwariye is a free agent, leaving the other outside corner spot wide open.
Ringo has fallen down draft rankings some after struggling in a couple postseason games. He is big (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and fast (he was a record-setting track athlete in high school). As an effective press corner who isn’t afraid to stick his nose in defending the run, the former Bulldog looks like a nice fit for the Lions. In McShay’s mock, cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr., Devon Witherspoon and Christian Gonzalez went at picks 14, 16 and 17.
Ringo might feel like a bit of a reach right now, based on his most recent game tape. But the best-available defensive lineman and probably the best-available cornerback would be a solid, and very ideal, scenario for the Lions in the first round.