There are less than two weeks to go until Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft takes place Thursday, April 29, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions possess six total picks, with no picks in either the sixth or seventh rounds at this juncture.
Without further ado, here is my latest stab at predicting which players the organization will select in the first three rounds.
First round, No. 7 overall: Oregon OT Penei Sewell
If Sewell falls to No. 7, Detroit should snatch him up as fast as it can, as it could immediately insert the 6-foot-6, 325-pounder into the starting lineup at right tackle.
From day one of training camp, he'd be an upgrade at the position over returning starter Tyrell Crosby and one of last year’s prized offseason acquisitions in Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who disappointed a season ago and is expected to move to guard on a full-time basis in 2021.
Sewell opted out of playing in 2020 to prepare for the upcoming draft. But, during his sophomore campaign in 2019, he finished as the top-graded offensive lineman in the nation and in Pro Football Focus history, with an overall mark of 95.5.
He allowed just one sack over 1,376 snaps in two seasons with the Ducks. Additionally, he became the first sophomore offensive lineman to win the Outland Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's best interior lineman.
Sewell would be a home-run pick at No. 7, and would add yet another franchise building block to a line that already features cornerstones Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker.
Second round, No. 41 overall: Texas EDGE/LB Joseph Ossai
The Lions, in my opinion, would be adding two great value picks in back-to-back rounds, if they selected Sewell in the first round and the 6-foot-4, 243-pound Ossai at No. 41 overall.
The EDGE/linebacker group was easily one of the weakest areas on both sides of the ball for Detroit a year ago.
Ossai could come in right away and make a positive impact. Plus, he'd offer some great versatility to the Lions, with the ability to line up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and to put his hand in the dirt in a four-man defensive front.
Most importantly, the Texas product would instantly boost the productivity of a Detroit pass-rush unit that was the definition of anemic last season.
If Ossai is still available, he's easily my pick for the Lions at No. 41.
Third round, No. 72 overall: Oklahoma State CB Rodarius Williams
Sure, Detroit has already added veteran defensive backs Quinton Dunbar and Corn Elder this offseason to help upgrade its secondary.
However, I'm still going with Williams, if he's on the board at No. 72 overall.
Williams, the brother of Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams, totaled 169 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, 27 passes defensed and one forced fumble in four seasons at Oklahoma State.
With enough reps and some proper seasoning from new Lions defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, Rodarius could become a great value pick at this spot in the third round.
Third round, No. 101 overall (acquired from the L.A. Rams): Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt
Detroit opts not to take one of the highly coveted first-round pass-catchers -- i.e. one of Alabama's receivers in DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle or LSU's Ja'Marr Chase -- and instead waits to get its wide receiver here.
Surratt, a 6-foot-2.5, 215-pound wideout out of Wake Forest, burst on to the scene in 2019, producing 65 catches for 1,006 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games.
He opted out of playing in 2020 over concerns with the coronavirus pandemic, but still heads into the 2021 draft as one of the class's top big-bodied receivers.
He possesses terrific ball skills, and with the glaring void that the Lions have at receiver -- after the exits of Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Jamal Agnew in free agency this offseason, Surratt would be a more-than-worthwhile selection in this spot.
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