With the NFL Draft set for Thursday, fans are waiting anxiously.
The first three picks --- the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 1 overall, the N.Y. Jets at No. 2 and the San Francisco 49ers at No. 3 -- are roughly set in stone, as each should be a quarterback. However, after that, the draft could shake out in a variety of ways.
What does this mean for the Detroit Lions? The organization is in an interesting position, under new leadership and full of needs.
So, who do the Lions select at No. 7 overall?
Here are four best-case scenarios for the Lions on draft night:
1.) Getting a cornerstone offensive lineman
In this scenario, four quarterbacks are selected within the first four picks, and then Cincinnati and Miami follow with skill position players. This leaves Detroit with its pick of the litter, ultimately landing Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
Taking Sewell would bring competition to the Lions’ offensive line.
Taylor Decker is locked in at one tackle position, while Tyrell Crosby currently holds the other. In Sewell, the Lions would be getting a solid, young option to push Crosby and ultimately claim a tackle position for the future.
2.) Los Angeles trades up, offering Lions a future first-round pick
This scenario also sees Sewell available at No. 7. However, this time, Lions general manager Brad Holmes passes on selecting him, landing a haul of draft picks from the Los Angeles Chargers, which desperately want help up front to protect young quarterback Justin Herbert.
In this situation, the Lions land a first-round pick in 2022, along with the Chargers’ current first-rounder, which is the 13th overall pick.
Drafting six picks later would prevent Detroit from enduring a ton of turnover within the draft, as there are still solid options on the offensive line, at linebacker and at skill positions.
Detroit could elect to pick Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater or USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker with its pick at No. 13 overall.
All of this, as well as a guarantee that the Lions would hold three total picks, including the Los Angeles Rams' 2022 first-rounder via the Jared Goff/Matthew Stafford trade, in the first round a year from now.
3.) Getting a playmaker to jumpstart the offense
There are only a finite number of things that can happen before the Lions are slated to make a choice.
In this situation, four quarterbacks are taken, along with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts and Sewell, allowing Detroit to land LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with its first pick.
In Chase, the Lions would get an NFL-ready, physical playmaker. Chase wowed scouts as a sophomore at LSU in 2019 and again at his pro day, after opting out of the 2020 season.
After losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit is strapped for playmakers out wide. The Lions did add Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman in free agency, and do return youngster Quintez Cephus. But, the addition of Chase would add another threat to an offense that desperately needs it.
4.) Making a deal with a familiar team, landing a new wide receiver
Detroit’s days of following “The Patriot Way” are over. Yet, in this situation, Holmes & Co. make a deal with the New England Patriots, which would allow the Patriots to move to No. 7 overall and to select a quarterback.
Trading back would earn Detroit future draft capital, while still getting a fairly large pick of the litter.
New England is currently slotted at No. 15 overall. In this scenario, with Detroit now picking 15th, Holmes chooses another playmaker in Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
Bateman is built similarly to Chase. Granted, he’s not as explosive, and didn’t put up the caliber of stats that Chase did. However, Bateman is still NFL-ready.
Additionally, Bateman was able to perform with slightly average quarterback play -- a sign that he may just be what the Lions need.
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