Lions Mock Draft 2.0: Broder Targets Offensive Strength


The NFL free agency period is sweltering hot, as the Lions and teams around the league continue to make moves to improve their roster prior to the NFL Draft in April. With that in mind, here is my Mock Draft 2.0 that takes the first wave of free agency into consideration: 

Pick 1 – Chicago Bears

Selection: QB Caleb Williams, USC

  • Analysis: The Bears opt to trade Justin Fields and select their franchise quarterback of the future, Caleb Williams.

Pick 2 – Washington Commanders

Selection: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

  • Analysis: With offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury on his staff, head coach Dan Quinn opts for LSU’s Jayden Daniels out of all the QBs on the board. Daniels is a dual-threat quarterback who can either learn for a year behind Sam Howell or use his mobility to avoid record-breaking sack numbers while the Commanders’ offensive line undergoes a makeover.

Pick 3 – New England Patriots

Selection: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

  • Analysis: With what is certain to be a haul they could receive for pick number 3, the Patriots decide to stay put and draft J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy can sit behind Jacoby Brissett for a year and take the reins in 2025.

Pick 4 – Arizona Cardinals

Selection: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

  • Analysis: The best weapon on the board makes this an easy choice for the Cardinals at 4, giving QB Kyler Murray another weapon on the outside.

Pick 5 – Los Angeles Chargers

Selection: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

  • Analysis: Despite numerous top-tier offensive linemen still on the board, Jim Harbaugh pulls the trigger on Brock Bowers, a tight end who can truly do it all.

Pick 6 – New York Giants

Selection: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

  • Analysis: Assuming the Giants give Daniel Jones one more year under center, they decide to invest in their offensive line and draft Joe Alt, a 6’8″, 322-pound powerhouse.

Pick 7 – Tennessee Titans

Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

  • Analysis: While the Titans have provided QB Will Levis with new weapons on offense, they have been looking for an edge rusher to play outside of Jeffrey Simmons, and they find their guy at pick 7 in Dallas Turner.

Pick 8 – Atlanta Falcons

Selection: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

  • Analysis: More weapons for Kirk Cousins in Atlanta…you like that?!

Pick 9 – New England Patriots (via Bears)

Selection: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

  • Analysis: The Patriots have a lot of needs, forcing them to move up in the 2024 draft to build around future QB J.J. McCarthy. The Bears, following the trade acquisition of WR Keenan Allen, are in need of an offensive lineman and take the opportunity to move back in a deep IOL draft. There’s an argument that Odunze is the best wide receiver in the draft, and his production and reliability should help kickstart the Patriots turnaround.
  • Trade Details: 
    • New England Patriots receive: 2024 Number 9 overall pick
    • Chicago Bears receive: 2024 34 overall pick + 103 overall + 2025 2nd round pick

Pick 10 – New York Jets

Selection: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

  • Analysis: A formidable offensive lineman who can play tackle or guard is just what the 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers needs.

Pick 11 – Minnesota Vikings

Selection: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

  • Analysis: With J.J. McCarthy off the board early, the Minnesota Vikings opt for QB Drake Maye. He could be thrust into the starting role or learn behind Sam Darnold and QB coach Josh McCown.

Pick 12 – Denver Broncos

Selection: QB Bo Nix, Oregon

  • Analysis: As the hypothetical Broncos GM for this exercise, I find it hard to pass on Bo Nix at 12. It feels like a Drew Brees-Sean Payton relationship in the making. Ideally, the Broncos would trade back and accumulate draft capital since they have needs everywhere. However, selecting a QB in the first round to gain the 5th-year option on the rookie contract is compelling.

Pick 13 – Las Vegas Raiders

Selection: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

  • Analysis: Even with injury concerns, Nate Wiggins, standing at 6’2″ and weighing 185 pounds, may be the best cornerback in the draft. The Raiders take that chance and snag their CB1 at pick 13.

Pick 14 – New Orleans Saints

Selection: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas

  • Analysis: Byron Murphy II can literally excel in any role on the defensive line, and New Orleans opts to add his versatility to the interior of their defense.

Pick 15 – Indianapolis Colts

Selection: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

  • Analysis: Mitchell shined close by in Toledo and stays in-state with the Colts.

Pick 16 – Seattle Seahawks 

Selection: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

  • Analysis: Latu feels like a quintessential Seahawk, especially with Mike McDonald at the helm.

Pick 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

  • Analysis: Terrion Arnold may be a player worth moving up for in the draft, but fortunately for the Jaguars, he drops to them at pick 17, and they quickly submit the pick to the commissioner.

Pick 18 – Cincinnati Bengals

Selection: T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

  • Analysis: All moves should aim to protect Joe Burrow, and drafting Fashanu is a strong start.

Pick 19 – Los Angeles Rams 

Selection: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

  • Analysis: DeJean can fill multiple roles on the Rams’ defense as a rookie, in addition to contributing on special teams.

Pick 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Selection: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

  • Analysis: Choose any offensive line position except center, and you have a day-one starter tasked with protecting QB Russell Wilson.

Pick 21 – Miami Dolphins

Selection: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

  • Analysis: Jared Verse falls to the Dolphins at 21, and they can’t resist picking the best player available to line up alongside Bradley Chubb and Shaq Barrett.

Pick 22 – Philadelphia Eagles

Selection: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

  • Analysis: With some big names in their secondary but a unit that faltered last year, questions continue to surround James Bradberry. Hence, Kool-Aid McKinstry is brought in to invigorate this defense.

Pick 23 – Houston Texans

Selection: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

  • Analysis: Houston continues to build a formidable lineup. Imagine Danielle Hunter and Will Anderson Jr. on the outside with Jer’Zhan Newton and Denico Autry inside.

Pick 24 – Dallas Cowboys

Selection: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

  • Analysis: The Cowboys have various areas to address, but the center position might be the most crucial. Powers-Johnson is an excellent pick for Jerry Jones.

Pick 25 – Green Bay Packers

Selection: T Graham Barton, Duke

  • Analysis: Barton’s versatility allows him to play anywhere along the line, a valuable asset for protecting QB Jordan Love and addressing the Packers’ most significant OL needs.

Pick 26 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Selection: CB T.J. Tampa, Iowa State

  • Analysis: T.J. Tampa is chosen as the replacement for Carlton Davis III.

Pick 27 – Arizona Cardinals

Selection: T Jordan Morgan, Arizona

  • Analysis: At 6’6″ and 320 pounds, Morgan is an impressively agile athlete. The Cardinals, familiar with his collegiate development, are confident in his ability to protect Kyler Murray.

Pick 28 – Buffalo Bills

Selection: S Tyler Nubin, Minnesota

  • Analysis: While Nubin may not excel in any single area, he performs well in almost every critical aspect for a safety. Buffalo, needing help at safety, selects him at 28.

Pick 29 – Detroit Lions

Selection: C/G Zach Frazier, West Virginia

  • Analysis: Frazier, a four-time state championship wrestler, fits perfectly into a Detroit Lions offensive line that needs guard support and backup depth at center. Despite shorter arms, he possesses nearly all desired qualities for an interior lineman as well as insurance across the Lions interior OL. With defensive upgrades across the NFC North, strengthening their offensive line remains crucial for the Lions, and this pick aligns with that goal.

Pick 30 – Baltimore Ravens

Selection: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

  • Analysis: Following Odell Beckham Jr.’s release, the Ravens need a new wide receiver, particularly a deep threat. Brian Thomas Jr. fits this role while also offering a notable presence at 6’4″ and 205 pounds.

Pick 31 – San Francisco 49ers

Selection: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

  • Analysis: The assumption is that they won’t re-sign Chase Young, opting instead for an edge player with the highest upside in the draft.

Pick 32 – Kansas City Chiefs

Selection: T JC Latham, Alabama

  • Analysis: It’s a boon for Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl champions if Latham falls to the Chiefs at 32.

All Lions Draft Picks:

  • Round 1, Pick 29: C/G Zach Frazier, West Virginia
  • Round 2, Pick 61: EDGE Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan
  • Round 3, Pick 73: CB Andru Phillips, Kentucky
  • Round 5, Pick 164: WR Luke McCaffrey, Rice
  • Round 6, Pick 201: TE Tip Reiman, Illinois
  • Round 6, Pick 205: DI Zion League, Georgia
  • Round 7, Pick 249: EDGE Jalen Green, James Madison


For more from our Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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Original Photo Credit: © Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports