Is the next wide receiver of the Detroit Lions coming from the Big Ten?
Detroit has a variety of needs to address heading into the offseason and chief among them is its pass-rushing unit.
As a team, the Lions have generated just 1.5 sacks a game in 2021. The only team with a worse sack rate has been the Atlanta Falcons, with 1.4 sacks per game.
It just so happens a potentially generational pass rusher sits atop many draft pundits' draft boards: Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
The 6-foot-5, 258-pounder has logged 12 tackles for loss this season, including seven sacks. Meanwhile, EDGE defender Charles Harris, an impending free agent, leads all Lions defenders with four sacks.
As Edwards writes,
"Detroit is not going to take a safety or offensive tackle, so that leaves the team with cornerback or defensive line. Thibodeaux is a twitchy player who is also wiry strong. Romeo Okwara and Thibodeaux is a fine pairing in the Motor City."
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If selected by Holmes & Co., there are many draft experts that believe Thibodeaux would anchor Detroit's defensive line for years to come and form a dynamic pass-rushing duo with the elder Okwara (Romeo).
And most importantly for Lions fans, the Oregon product would provide an immediate boost to Detroit's anemic pass-rushing unit.
Fast-forward to pick No. 23, where Edwards has the Lions selecting Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.
The 6-foot-1, 188-pound speedster has been burning defenders all year long -- just ask Michigan State -- and would be a great value pick for Detroit in this spot.
As Edwards pens,
"Detroit is not one wide receiver away from contention, but it is a huge position of need. The current group is not instilling fear in anyone, and Olave is too good a value to pass up at this point in the first round."
So, the Lions end up addressing two needs in this mock, with Thibodeaux and Olave. If this comes to fruition, I would say that Holmes would deserve kudos for a solid first round.