The 2021 NFL Draft will take place this month, and the Detroit Lions and general manager Brad Holmes are basically all but done with the pro day circuit.
In an unconventional year such as this, measurements may be a bit inflated. But, now it's time for the Lions' staff to really dial in on their big board.
As it has been stated plenty, the Lions have numerous needs on the roster, and their No. 1 priority should be adding talent -- regardless of position.
Needs are not as big of an issue, given that the 2021 season will be the first year of the new regime's "rebuild."
Here is how this mock draft played out.
Round 1, Pick 7
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Not another tight end in the top 10, right?
Well, Pitts isn't your traditional tight end. The position label is a bit of a misnomer.
Pitts is a pass-catcher first and foremost, and is a mismatch to whichever player the defense lines up against him -- whether he lines up wide or inline.
He is just too big and too fast for any one player to handle.
In this mock, with four quarterbacks off the board before the Lions' selection, that left one of the following three players for the Lions: Pitts, offensive tackle Penei Sewell or wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase. Can't go wrong with any of those three.
Pitts was the remaining prospect I chose for the Lions, however.
Round 2, Pick 9 (No. 41 overall)
Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
Browning checks all the boxes in terms of measurements.
In the 2020 season, he seemed to develop and reach that five-star potential.
Despite being a "thumper"-type linebacker, Browning played well in coverage and in rushing the passer. He can do it all.
The biggest question marks come from prior seasons, where he looked slow to react at times and not in full understanding of what his reads were telling him.
If he can continue to ascend in the right direction -- as he did in 2020 -- Browning has the makeup to be one of the better linebackers in the NFL.
Round 3, Pick 8 (No. 72 overall)
Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
Carman was once thought to be an eventual first-round pick.
For a 330-pounder, he moves very well. Unfortunately, he may not move well enough to be a left tackle in the NFL, like he was at Clemson.
No matter the case, Carman has the traits to be a great right tackle -- which the Lions could very well end up needing after the 2021 season.
At the very least, Carman could move inside and be a road-grader, with the attributes necessary to excel in pass-blocking. This is a pretty deep class for offensive tackles, and the Lions should take advantage.
Round 3, Pick 38 (No. 101 overall)
Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
For a 6-foot-5, 263-pounder with elite wingspan and solid testing, this is the perfect gamble at this stage in the draft.
The EDGE position is extremely valuable in the NFL, and Robinson has just about all the traits you look for in an EDGE defender. He had an impressive pro day -- I would have liked a little faster 3-cone time. But, on film, he shows the ability to bend around the edge, even with his size.
Robinson needs to get better with his hand usage to unlock his full potential. That's something that can be coached up at the NFL level.
Even with Trey Flowers and the Okwara brothers, the Lions need to keep adding guys who can rush the passer.
Round 4, Pick 7 (No. 112 overall)
James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati
Wiggins has had some poor injury luck throughout his career, but he possesses the playmaker gene and is very physical. He may be more of a box safety at the next level, however.
Wiggins has the athleticism for the position, but he does his best work closer to the line of scrimmage -- even coming from the slot.
If you are looking for a safety with deep range, that's not necessarily Wiggins, and it's the reason he is still available in the fourth round.
Looking at how frequently the New Orleans Saints ran with two-deep zones, Wiggins should be just fine when asked to do so, and could excel in the box.
Round 5, Pick 9 (No. 153 overall)
Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
In the fifth round, I went with Williams -- an undersized defensive tackle.
Despite his shorter arms and relatively small playing weight, his pro day raised some eyebrows. His testing numbers were on par with the likes of Aaron Donald -- not saying that Williams will have the same type of NFL career.
Donald's limitations, though, didn't deter Detroit general manager Brad Holmes from selecting him when he was with the Rams, and Williams' stature shouldn't, either.
Williams is another high-potential prospect that may need some time to develop. But, the Lions have some time to coach up these younger players.
Adding Williams would give the Lions' defensive interior some serious juice -- which it seriously needs.
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