The college season is wrapped up, the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl are coming to an end and the combine is right around the corner.
Draft season is in full swing, folks. And naturally, it's time for another mock draft for the Detroit Lions.
This go-around, I used the First Pick mock draft simulator -- which also simulates trades made on draft day. I took full advantage of the trade feature.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Pick No. 5 (via trade with Miami Dolphins)
In this mock draft simulator, the Dolphins offered their fifth overall pick along with their third-round selection for the Lions' No. 3 overall pick.
Obviously, you would hope for more in return, but any trade is better than none when only moving back two spots.
Even at the fifth spot, all three of my personal favorites for the Lions were still on the board -- Okudah, DT Derrick Brown and LB Isaiah Simmons.
If you can still grab the player you covet while moving down and nabbing a very high third-round pick in the process, it's a no-brainer.
Much like my last mock, I chose Okudah -- the cornerback out of Ohio State.
He checks all the boxes, and is a great press-man corner.
With Darius Slay going into the last year of his deal, Okudah could form a great duo with Slay in 2020 while being his "successor" in the long-term.
Yes, corners can take some time to develop, but there have been plenty of recent examples of immediate impact players at the position.
Okudah is talented enough to fall into that latter category.
K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Pick No. 35
Let me preface this pick by saying, I don't think Chaisson will still be on the board in the second round.
In saying this, he was still available, so I pulled the trigger with no questions asked. Weirder things have happened in the draft.
Chaisson has the size (6'4, 250 pounds) and length that Detroit looks for at the JACK position.
Not only that, but he would be a huge upgrade in the pass rushing department. He displays more versatility in comparison to Devon Kennard.
In my personal opinion, I'm willing to claim that Chaisson is a better EDGE prospect than Iowa's defensive end A.J. Epenesa.
That's how much I like what Chaisson can provide to a team.
Epenesa is a different type of player for sure, and the Lions may favor his skillset over Chaisson.
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In saying this, Epenesa is more of a Trey Flowers-type player, and the Lions don't need to spend high draft capital on a potential backup.
Chaisson would allow the Lions to take some of the heat off of Flowers on passing downs.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Pick No. 67
And yet again, another player I couldn't believe was on the board at this position.
Due to an incredibly deep receiver class, Aiyuk could go a lot lower than he would in most other years.
In fact, it would appear that most NFL talent evaluators like Aiyuk even more than his former Arizona State receiver teammate, who was a first-round pick just a year ago.
Jim Nagy, the executive director of the Reese's Senior Bowl, said, “I haven’t met a team that doesn’t have Brandon Aiyuk graded above N’Keal Harry from last year.”
Aiyuk is one of the most explosive receivers in this year's class. He shines at exploding out of breaks and with yards after the catch -- something the Lions desperately need.
Unlike Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, Aiyuk struggles with contested catches but wins in different ways. It would be nice to have a little bit of variety in the receiving department and Aiyuk would be just that.
Leki Fotu, NT, Utah
Pick No. 70 (via trade with Dolphins)
The Lions need a nose tackle, whether it be in 2020 or whenever Snacks Harrison retires.
Fotu is a rare bread. Standing at 6'5 and 337-pounds, Fotu is a perfect fit in the Lions defense.
Much like Snacks, Fotu is almost strictly a run-stuffing player. For his size, Fotu has a great first step and moves along the line well against the run.
He dominated games at times, but would also disappear a little more than I would like.
There are some flaws in his game, as there are with most mid-round picks.
As a pass rusher, Fotu won't wow you with his moves. He can at least push the pocket. He could also still learn to use more leverage and not play so high.
If Patricia can get his hands on him, Fotu could overcome those issues and become a consistent player who contributes.
Overall, you can't teach size and that is what the Lions are coveting along the defensive front.