Teams are being removed from the nfl playoffswhich indicates that the 2022-23 season is coming to an end, but it is also an indicator that NFL draft the season is heating up.

In late November, Dane Brugler of The Athletic dropped his first Mock Draft of the season and gave the Detroit Lions two defensive players (a defensive tackle on the No. 3 pick and a cornerback on the No. 13 pick). Since then, a lot has happened, including establishing the draft order through the first 24 picks (the Lions now pick at No. 6 and No. 18 in the first round), college freshmen declared for the draft and our The mock draft roundup series has produced six installations..

Let’s take a closer look at who Brugler paired up the Lions in his second mock draft of the season ($subscription):

Pick #6: Christian Gonzalez, BC, Oregon

Heading into this pick, three quarterbacks, EDGE Will Anderson (Alabama) and DT Jalen Carter (Georgia) made the top five, leaving the Lions with an interesting option and Brugler leaving with his top corner on the board. . This is what he had to say about the projection of him:

“Christian González shined enough in Colorado to earn the No. 9 spot in my summer top 50 chart, and he lived up to that expectation in his only season at Oregon. With his athletic speed/length profile and the Lions’ need at cornerback, Gonzalez (the brother-in-law of former Lions backup quarterback David Blough) should be on Detroit’s short list for his first of two NBA selections. Round 1”.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds with Olympic sprinter blood in his veins (Blough’s wife, Melissa Gonzalez is his sister), Gonzalez has been in the conversation for the top corner spot all season. He has drawn comparisons to Patrick Surtain for his length, athleticism, instincts and man coverage skills, would fit the Lions’ scheme like a glove and has CB1 closing potential.

I try not to make too much of the reports of Lions scouts attending prospecting games because speculating can get you in trouble, but it’s worth noting that both Lions general manager Brad Holmes and senior director of player staff, Lance Newmark, have made separate trips. to Oregon for exploration purposes this season. It’s fair to say they’ve done their homework on the Oregon outlook.

Pick #15: Anthony Richardson, quarterback, Florida

Trading (with the packers) from No. 18 to No. 15 it’s hard for the Lions to pick No. 48 in this scenario, but as Brugler points out, it’s something Holmes has done before:

“In the first round last year, the Lions made a major trade with a division foe to move up for a high-potential offensive star (Jameson Williams). They could do it again this year and invest in their future at quarterback.”

Here’s Brugler’s explanation of why he projected the Lions would make this aggressive move to acquire a quarterback:

“Thanks to his size, athleticism and arm, Anthony Richardson is a freak show with a high ceiling, but he’s still figuring out how to be a consistent passer. The presence of Jared Goff would allow Detroit to develop Richardson at their own pace.”

At 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds, Richardson has all the physical traits you could want in a modern NFL quarterback: size, strength, speed, twitch, athleticism, explosion, power arm, the ability to touch pitches , and if it all comes together, he could be one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.

The problem is that he hasn’t put it all together yet, and each of these abilities has arrived in flashes rather than as a complete product. He’s still very raw in several areas, including decision-making, throwing technique, and accuracy, which also puts him in the potential bust category.

The bottom line with Richardson is that it’s a lottery ticket. If he hits, you have a Josh Allen-type player. If it doesn’t develop, Holmes will just lose no picks. 18 and No. 48 in a year in which the Lions look to turn the corner and make the playoffs.

Pick #55: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, our lady

Pairing the Lions with Foskey creates an interesting dynamic because while Foskey the person is a great fit for Detroit, Foskey the player isn’t a great fit for the position.

Foskey is an above-average athlete who never stops working on a given play, has an elite character and is a weapon on special teams. He’s a hybrid pass-rusher who wins with length and burst, but has also shown enough range to drop into coverage on occasion. On special teams, he is a potential pivotal player due to his athleticism and willingness to work.

His positional fit on defense isn’t as clean. Foskey has many desirable pass-rush traits, and while he has the size, he’s not efficient enough as an edge setter to be Aidan Hutchinson’s primary backup on the open edge. He also didn’t take the next step in his development last offseason, which calls into question how much higher the development ceiling is for him.

At the end of the day, Foskey could be used in the SAM role that the Lions began incorporating more of late last season. But with James Houston and Julian Okwara already in that role, he would create a bit of a logjam in the role unless the role becomes more prominent.

Other notes on Brugler’s mock draft

  • qb watch: Four quarterbacks were projected to be taken in the first two rounds and three of them were taken after being traded by a team. The Colts moved up to the No. 1 pick to select Bryce Young (Alabama), the Texas held firm at No. 2 and took Will Levis (Kentucky), the Panthers traded to pick No. 5 to select CJ Stroud (ohio state) and of course the Lions traded as stated above.
  • NFC North: Bears trade and still get DT Jalen Carter (Georgia)… ouch. The Packers get EDGE Lukas Van Ness (Iowa) after his trade from the Lions. And the Vikings try to shore up their horrendous secondary with CB Deonte Banks (Md).
  • local connection: Three Wolverines were selected in the second round, NT Mazi Smith went to the browns in the No. 42 pick, CB DJ Turner went to the Cowboys in the No. 58 pick, and DL Mike Morris went to the Chiefs in the No. 62 pick. No other Michigan-based college had players drafted in this mock draft .

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