Mock draft watch: Breaking down the Lions haul in The Athletic’s 7-round projections

USA Today

The latest projections from longtime NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler from The Athletic are now out, and it’s a massive undertaking. Brugler projected all seven rounds in his latest mock draft.

For the Detroit Lions, Brugler projected a trade out of the first round. This mock draft has the Las Vegas Raiders moving up to No. 29 and sending the Lions No. 44 and No. 77 overall so the Raiders can snag Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

That leaves Detroit with two second-round picks and two more in the third. The Day 2 picks focus on most of the team’s primary needs.

Brugler’s final haul for Detroit:

2 (44). Zach Frazier, G/C, West Virginia
2 (61). Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State
3 (73). Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington
3 (77). Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest
5 (164). Braiden McGregor, Edge, Michigan
6 (201). Will Reichard, K, Alabama
6 (205). Sione Vaki, S, Utah
7 (249). Johnny Dixon, CB, Penn State

A lot of those names should look familiar for Lions fans. Frazier, Fiske and Polk have all been common second-round names in recent Detroit projections. Selecting a kicker in the sixth would surely be a debatable point in the fanbase, as would ignoring the giant hole at offensive tackle behind starters Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell–especially in light of Decker’s recent foot surgeries (yes, plural).

None of the players selected here would be projected to start in 2024, a prevailing theme for Detroit’s championship-caliber roster.

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