Lions Mock Draft 5.0: Channeling an aggressive Brad Holmes


The theme of my Lions Big Mock Draft 5.0 is aggression.  General Manager Brad Holmes has quietly constructed one of the most complete rosters in the NFL through strong drafting and exceptional player development. So for the 2024 NFL Draft, Holmes and his Lions front office staff have the option to get ultra-aggressive. In this scenario, Brad Holmes is in search of immediate pass rush help and pulls off an aggressive trade-up in the first round.

Pick 1 – Chicago Bears

Selection: QB Caleb Williams, USC

  • Analysis: Caleb Williams going number one to the Bears…you can take it to the bank. *not financial advice

Pick 2 – Minnesota Vikings (via Commanders)

Selection: QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan

  • Analysis: To ensure they land JJ McCarthy, the Vikings complete a trade with the Commanders to move into the number two spot of the first round.

Pick 3 – New England Patriots

Selection: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

  • Analysis: The Patriots land what they hope will be their quarterback of the future. Drake Maye will sit behind Jacoby Brissett for six games before Jerod Mayo hands him the keys to the offense.

Pick 4 – Arizona Cardinals

Selection: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

  • Analysis: Kyler Murray doesn’t need to see over the offensive line to throw it up to Marvin Harrison Jr., a connection Cardinals fans can get excited about for the foreseeable future.

Pick 5 – Washington Commanders (via Chargers)

Selection: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

  • Analysis: In year one, the new Commanders front office proves they are light years ahead of the previous regime. Moving back in the first round, acquiring additional draft capital, AND landing Jayden Daniels? Pack ‘em up, shut ‘em down; they win day one of the draft.

Pick 6 – New York Giants

Selection: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

  • Analysis: Some analysts consider Nabers the best wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft. While I disagree, the gap between MHJ and Nabers is paper-thin. Pencil in Nabers as the Giants’ first true number one wide receiver since Odell Beckham Jr.

Pick 7 – Tennessee Titans

Selection: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

  • Analysis: The run on quarterbacks benefits the Titans sitting at seven, and they take full advantage by snagging the top offensive lineman in the draft. It seems there is a real offense being built around quarterback Will Levis.

Pick 8 – Las Vegas Raiders (via Falcons)

Selection: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

  • Analysis: The Raiders need a stud on the opposite side of Davante Adams. After seeing MHJ and Nabers taken off the board, the Raiders trade up five spots to secure the last of “the big three” receivers in this draft.

Pick 9 – Miami Dolphins (via Bears)

Selection: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

  • Analysis: It’s hard to imagine the Dolphins’ offense getting more dynamic, but the addition of Georgia tight end Brock Bowers does just that. One of the top football players in the draft, Bowers makes Miami even more of a matchup nightmare.

Pick 10 – New York Jets

Selection: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

  • Analysis: The positive response from Jets fans after mocking Fautanu to New York in my mock draft 4.0 was surprising. It feels like he’s the perfect offensive lineman for the present and future.

Pick 11 – Los Angeles Chargers (via Vikings)

Selection: T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

  • Analysis: Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh got a front-row seat to Fashanu at Penn State (well, errr, not in 2023) while leading the University of Michigan. That’s all Harbaugh needed to see to advocate for Fashanu to become their starting right tackle opposite Rashawn Slater. Justin Herbert is very, very happy.

Pick 12 – Denver Broncos

Selection: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas

  • Analysis: Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh got a front-row seat to Fashanu at Penn State (well, errr, not in 2023) while leading the University of Michigan. That’s all Harbaugh needed to see to advocate for Fashanu to become their starting right tackle opposite Rashawn Slater. Justin Herbert is very, very happy.

Pick 13 – Atlanta Falcons (via Raiders)

Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

  • Analysis: If not for the Commanders already being crowned with the draft’s best trade-back, the Falcons would take the cake. To move back and still get Dallas Turner is a home run for a team desperately needing pass rush off the edge.

Pick 14 – New Orleans Saints

Selection: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

  • Analysis: Fuaga is a nasty, aggressive offensive lineman whom the Saints will rely on to turn back into a contender.

Pick 15 – Indianapolis Colts

Selection: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

  • Analysis: Arnold’s football IQ is off the charts, and any gaps in his game as a rookie can be covered up by a really strong front seven in Indianapolis.

Pick 16 – Seattle Seahawks

Selection: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

  • Analysis: The Seahawks need cornerback help, safety help, and special teams help. Cooper DeJean checks all those boxes. BONUS: if the NBA ever brings a team back to Seattle, DeJean could slide right over to the hardwood as a high-flying guard.

Pick 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

  • Analysis: The Jaguars could use reinforcements in their secondary regardless, but with Houston adding wide receiver Stefon Diggs to their offense, the need for another corner grows significantly. Enter the uber-physical Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo.

Pick 18 – Detroit Lions (via Bengals)

Selection: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

  • Analysis: Plug and play. That’s one of the many luxuries of drafting edge rusher Laiatu Latu: on day one you can plug and play him opposite budding superstar Aidan Hutchinson. The 23-year old out of UCLA has developed a deep, sophisticated array of pass rush moves that terrorize offensive linemen. He’s honed those skills over the last two seasons that saw him amass 27 sacks, and 126 pressures, 23% pass rush win rate, 94.5% ppass rush grade in 25 games started, according to PFF

  • At 6-5, 260 lbs., Latu has the frame to match a relentless motor. He’s quick and powerful, standing out for his ability to control his body and play through the whistle. His hands are violent and precise, allowing him to draw from that deep bag and maneuver around opponents smoothly.
  • What truly distinguishes Latu, however, is his relentless pursuit of the quarterback. This drive, combined with his mature technique, could make up one-half of a dynamic duo that could wreak havoc opposite Aidan Hutchinson.
  • Although concerns about his previous neck injury at Washington loom—a factor that will undoubtedly be scrutinized during medical evaluations—Latu’s durability at UCLA provide promise. His blend of raw physicality and refined technique makes him an enticing prospect for the Lions.

Trade Details:

  • Lions receive: round 1, pick #18 + round 4, pick #115
  • Bengals receive: round 1, pick #29 + round 6, pick #205 + 2025 2nd round draft pick

Pick 19 – Los Angeles Rams

Selection: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

  • Analysis: If Jer’Zhan Newton is still available when the Rams are on the clock, I’d ask general manager Les Snead: “How do you not?”

Pick 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Selection: OL Graham Barton, Duke

  • Analysis: Barton’s versatility aligns well with the Steelers’ offensive philosophy, and his tenacity fits well with Mike Tomlin’s football player philosophy. Plug and play Graham Barton wherever you please on that offensive line, Mr. Tomlin.

Pick 21 – Chicago Bears (via Dolphins)

Selection: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

  • Analysis: Could this be considered a worst-case scenario for the Lions and the NFC North? Someone needs to prevent the Bears from trading back AND getting JPJ to pair with rookie QB Caleb Williams.

Pick 22 – Philadelphia Eagles

Selection: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

  • Analysis: The signing of CJ Gardner-Johnson certainly improves their secondary, but there are significant concerns about their cornerback talent at the moment. Talent is not something Nate Wiggins lacks; he just needs to stay on the field.

Pick 23 – Kansas City Chiefs (via Commanders)

Selection: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

  • Analysis: In 2023, Rashee Rice was the only Chiefs wide receiver who could reliably catch the ball. He may face legal action off the field after leaving the scene of a car accident, certainly dropping the metaphorical ball. The need for Kansas City to draft another pass catcher is at a critical level.

Pick 24 – Dallas Cowboys

Selection: C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

  • Analysis: Jerry Jones likes new, shiny toys, and Zach Frazier is definitely not that. However, Frazier is definitely the right pick for Jerry Jones this year. Their offseason has been puzzling, but adding protection for the quarterback by way of a tenacious interior offensive lineman is never a bad idea in today’s NFL.

Pick 25 – Green Bay Packers

Selection: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

  • Analysis: Edge isn’t necessarily the number one need for the Packers, but general manager Brian Gutekunst sprints to submit the draft pick when he sees that Verse has fallen to 25. All NFC teams will be looking for any way to pressure Jared Goff, and an asset like Verse is a steal for Green Bay.

Pick 26 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Selection: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

  • Analysis: With Carlton Davis heading to Detroit, Kool-Aid McKinstry steps in at Tampa Bay. It’s a good fit, an easy pick, and a new five-year contract in the Bucs secondary.

Pick 27 – Arizona Cardinals

Selection: T JC Latham, Alabama

  • Analysis: The offensive line for Arizona becomes even more formidable with the pick of Latham, who had a stellar career at Alabama as a right tackle. His strength in the run game benefits James Conner and the Cardinals’ rotating cast of running backs, and he possesses the versatility to play at either tackle position or move to guard.

Pick 28 – Buffalo Bills

Selection: WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

  • Analysis: Suddenly, after trading Stefon Diggs to the Texans, the Bills are in dire need of a wide receiver. Specifically, they need a large receiver who can stretch the field and add a vertical element to the passing game. The 6’2″, 205 lb. Adonai Mitchell continues to rise on draft boards after his 4.34 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He has the potential to be a number one receiver.

Pick 29 – Cincinnati Bengals (via Lions)

Selection: T Jordan Morgan, Arizona

  • Analysis: The Bengals need offensive line help and made a savvy move by trading back with the Lions. They likely hoped Graham Barton or Jackson Powers-Johnson would fall to 29, but they get an excellent consolation prize in Jordan Morgan. Morgan was a versatile tackle in college who started for three years at Arizona, but he has the capacity to transition to guard if necessary.

Pick 30 – Baltimore Ravens

Selection: CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

  • Analysis: Sainristil has two years of game-film thriving in a Ravens-like defense. If John Harbaugh wants to try to wait until the Ravens next selection (62), he risks his brother, Jim, and the Chargers taking Sainristil at 37, as well as a plethora of other teams with secondary needs between 30 and 62.

Pick 31 – San Francisco 49ers

Selection: EDGE Darius Robinson, Missouri

  • Analysis: As the 49ers continue to rent high-end defensive linemen, they can allow the versatile Darius Robinson to develop and hone his skills alongside them over the next five years.

Pick 32 – Washington Commanders (via Chiefs)

Selection: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

  • Analysis: Having secured their franchise quarterback at pick number five, the Commanders opt for the high-risk/extremely high-reward selection of Chop Robinson to conclude the first round. With the loss of Montez Sweat and Chase Young, retooling their defensive line becomes a priority, and the extra year of development for Chop Robinson is invaluable.

All Lions Picks

  1. Round 1, pick 18: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA
  2. Round 2, pi k 61: CB Khyree Jackson, Oregon 
  3. Round 3, pick 73: WR Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky
  4. Round 4, pick 115: G Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
  5. Round 5, pick 164: S James Williams, Miami
  6. Round 6, pick 201: C Hunter Nourzad, Penn State
  7. Round 7, pick 249: LB Trevin Wallace, Kentucky


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


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Original Photo Credit: © Gary A. Vasquez – USA TODAY Sports