ESPN’s Mel Kiper does not typically incorporate trades into his mock drafts.
In his first released mock draft, Kiper had Detroit selecting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 7 overall.
In his latest mock draft released on Thursday, however, the ESPN draft analyst had three teams in the top 10 making trades.
Kiper has the Lions trading the No. 7 pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the No. 12 overall pick and additional draft capital.
The haul for Detroit also included the 49ers' second-round pick (No. 44 overall) plus a future pick.
"With the Lions moving down in my mock trade with the 49ers, that takes them out of the quarterback race but gives them extra draft capital. Jared Goff was always going to be on their roster in 2021 because of his salary, but he might not be the long-term solution," Kiper wrote. "And I don't expect Detroit to improve next season, which means it could have another valuable pick (plus it has the Rams' first-round picks in 2022 and 2023). The Lions allowed 6.3 yards per play under former coach Matt Patricia last season, which ranked last in the league. They need help on defense. Parsons is a versatile linebacker with some pass-rush upside."
In 2020, Parsons was one of several college players who elected to opt out of the college football season, due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Pro Football Focus, "Five linebackers played significant snaps for the Lions in 2020, and none earned an overall PFF grade of more than 65.0. Two of them earned identical -- and awful -- PFF coverage grades of just 35.7. In a passing league, the Lions need to find second-level defenders who can hold up in coverage without being lit up by opposing passing attacks, and they’re a long way from that with the current group."
During his time at Penn State, Parsons secured 192 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five passes defensed.
More from SI All Lions:
Get the latest Detroit Lions news by joining our community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our SI All Lions page. Mobile users click the notification bell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DetroitPodcast.