If you are unfamiliar with how the Detroit Lions Synthesis work, every week we collect data from the latest expert mockups published in the past seven days and compile it (with links to the original pieces) into an easy-to-access article. In addition to providing Lions fans with the names of prospects associated with Detroit, we also provide commentary that indicates trends, player tweaks and overall team philosophy.
The 2023 NFL Combine is in the rearview mirror and while the event can provide a lot of valuable information, we must also beware of recency bias. With some fictional drafts, we can get insider insight on “what they’re hearing”, while others less related to the behind-the-scenes game will overreact and move the sparring warriors higher than they should. being.
The key to evaluating this week’s fictional drafts will come down to who you trust and think knows about your team.
Alright, let’s jump straight into this week’s roundup.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
No. 6: Charles McDonald (Yahoo Sports)
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
No. 18: Ryan McCrystal (Sharp analysis)
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
No. 6: Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports), Derrik Klassen (Launderer’s report)
As the Carolina Panthers trade with the Chicago Bears to acquire the No. 1 overall pick, we’ve learned to “take a quarterback when you’re able to.”
In 2021, the Panthers needed a quarterback and when they were on the clock at the No. 8 pick, they opted to go over quarterback Justin Fields and draft cornerback Jaycee Horn. Fast forward two years and the Panthers fired their coach, still need a quarterback and just gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks and Pro Bowl wide receiver DJ Moore – at the team that drafted Fields – for a chance to finally land their signal caller.
Regardless of which quarterback the fictional drafts above were associated with with the Lions, the theme was always that they were always paired with the third or fourth quarterback on the board – and it was usually the fourth – who is the same place the Panthers faced in 2021.
Now, in this “do you or do you get a quarterback” debate, the Lions having Jared Goff obviously puts them in a very different position than the Panthers. But at the end of the day, he may very well be off the roster two years from now when his contract expires. So ask yourself which quarterback do you think the Lions ranked fourth on their draft board? For me, it’s Lévis. Now ask yourself, is passing on Levis something you think the Lions might regret in two years?
Bijan Robinson, RB, TX
No. 6: Shane Hallam (Draft Countdown)
No. 18: Lance Zierlein (NFL.com), Doug Farrar (touchdown wire), TJ McCreight (The 33rd team), Vinnie Iyer (Sports News)
No. 25: Luke Easterling (Wire of Bucs) –
Jordan Addison, WR, USC
No. 18: Sam Monson and Mike Renner (PFF)
Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
No. 18: Brooks Kubena (Houston Chronicle)
Robinson was becoming a popular choice to poke fun at the Lions before the combine, but after checking all the right boxes, he will continue to be a popular choice for Detroit.
It’s the first time Addison has mocked the Lions in the 13 editions of the roundup. I get the call to add a wide receiver to an already explosive offense, and Addison is WR1 on my Lions-based draft board, but I’m not sold on any of the receivers in this class worth a top-18 pick .
Washington entered the combine as TE2 on my Lions-based dash and blasted the combine in both testing and field practice. As with the receiver, there’s plenty of talent in this class, but I’m not convinced by the value of any of the Lions tight ends tying the No. 18 pick overall.
Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
No. 18: Scott Bair (Atlanta Falcons.com), Kyle Stackpole (CBS Sports)
Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
No. 18: Dane Brugler (Athleticism), Nate Davis (USA today)
Bresee and Kancey were my two best players at the combine, and with defensive tackle being one of the Lions’ main needs, it’s no surprise to see them paired up in Detroit.
Kancey’s hype has been building for weeks now and with most of his test numbers matching Aaron Donald’s, I can’t imagine the hype slowing down anytime soon. There were two numbers that separate Donald from Kancey: arm length (32 5/8 versus 30 5/8 respectively) and bench press, where Donald crushed it with 35 and Kancey opted out. Those two numbers, combined with the aggressiveness of Kancey’s hand, which doesn’t look like Donald, should give you pause in the comparison.
At 6-foot-1 and 281 pounds, it’s hard to project a player who is significantly undersized for the position to be able to consistently handle his at the next level. At the same time, when Brugler – who is arguably the most outgoing analyst in the draft community – puts him on your team, it’s worth taking note.
Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
No. 6: Trevor Sikkema and Connor Rogers (PFF), David Howman (blog boys)
Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas technology
No. 6: Dave Birkett (Free press), Kyle Meinke (MLive), Sam Farmer (Los Angeles Time), Jamie Eisner (The network project)
Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
No. 6: Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)
Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
No. 6: Ryan McCrystal (Sharp analysis)
No. 18: Ben Raven (MLive), Todd McShay (ESPN), Nick Suss (The Tennessian)
Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Technology
No. 18: Dan Wilkins and Dane Belbeck (The score)
Nolan Smith, Pass Rushing LB, Georgia
No. 18: Ralph Vacchiano & Ben Arthur (Fox Sports)
Not so long ago, the idea that Anderson would fall to the Lions at the No. 6 pick seemed ludicrous. But after the Panthers-Bears trade, we may be just one Arizona Cardinals trade (No. 3 pick) away from four quarterbacks coming off the board in the top four, and the Seahawks catch Jalen Carter (as many projects as they would in this storyline), leaving Anderson to fall into the Lions’ lap.
Could the Lions get arguably the best defensive player in the draft for the second year in a row? It might not be as far-fetched as we once thought.
Wilson – who Birkett and Meinke paired with the Lions – seems like a more realistic choice, while there are still some who like Murphy or Van Ness there. Van Ness certainly made some money at the combine, but the top six looks a bit rich.
Smith makes his debut in the roundup this week, and his combined performance likely drove the decision making here, as he’s more of a SAM linebacker in the Lions program, a role James Houston has settled into well. There’s no doubt the talent is there, but would the Lions be willing to change their plan for Smith? That’s a question I’m not sure any of us have the answer to.
Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
No. 18: Calvin Watkins (Dallas Morning News)
I feel like linebacker pairs are going to get rarer and rarer as we get closer to the draft and people start to see that there may not be a first-round linebacker in this class.
Devon Witherspoon, BC, IL
No. 6: Ben Raven (MLive), Lance Zierlein (NFL.com), Sam Monson and Mike Renner (PFF), Scott Bayer (Atlanta Falcons.com), Dan Wilkins and Dane Belbeck (The score)
No. 9: TJ McCreight (The 33rd team) Lions drop No. 6 and 81, receive No. 9 and 41
No. 18: Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports)
Christian Gonzalez, BC, Oregon
No. 6: Colton Pouncy (Athleticism), Dan Brugler (Athleticism), Todd McShay (ESPN), Mike Sando (Athleticism), Nate Davis (USA today), Brooks Kubena (Houston Chronicle), Luke Easterling (Wire of Bucs), Doug Farrar (touchdown wire), Hayden Winks (Underdog Fantasy), Kyle Stackpole (CBS Sports), Vinnie Iyer (Sports News), Nick Suss (The Tennessian), Calvin Watkins (Dallas Morning News), Ralph Vacchiano & Ben Arthur (Fox Sports)
No. 18: Derrik Klassen (Launderer’s report)
Brian Branch, NB/S, Alabama
No. 18: Colton Pouncy (Athleticism), Trevor Sikkema and Connor Rogers (PFF), Shane Hallam (Draft Countdown), David Howman (blog boys)
Joey Porter Jr, BC, Penn State
No. 18: Kyle Meinke (MLive), Jamie Eisner (The network project)
Deonte Banks, BC, Maryland
No. 18: Dave Birkett (Free press), Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports), Charles McDonald (Yahoo Sports)
Emmanuel Forbes, BC, Mississippi State
No. 18: Sam Farmer (Los Angeles Time)
Gonzalez and Witherspoon continue to be the Lions’ two most teased players. The big influx to Gonzalez this week is likely because he practiced at the combine and Witherspoon didn’t. Still, there are plenty of heavy hitters in the Lions and draft communities who have focused on these two players, and understandably so.
What’s interesting about pairings at No. 18 is that most of the fictional drafters who gave the Lions a decisive edge at No. 6 made sure they didn’t miss pairing the Lions with another defensive back. high level.
Personally, I’m fine with Pouncey’s option to double defensive back, and while I’m 100% okay with grabbing Branch at No. 18 if there is, I still like Witherspoon more. than Gonzalez, although I wouldn’t be disappointed either.
For additional NFL Draft content, check out my 2023 NFL Combine coverage.