Detroit Lions: Predicting the first seven picks of the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

There is plenty of speculation this time of year as to what each team should do in the NFL Draft, and plenty of thought goes into the first ten choices.  The Detroit Lions know all too well about picking in the top ten and see themselves there again, maintaining the seventh overall pick in 2021.

Like most teams with a premium draft pick, the Detroit Lions have an abundance of options leading up to the draft.

Should the Lions select the projected third or fourth quarterback in the class, or try and make an attempt to build around their recently acquired 26-year old quarterback Jared Goff?

In addition to simply making a selection with the seventh overall pick, newly appointed general manager Brad Holmes may entertain the idea of trading back in the first round, adding much-needed additional draft capital.

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Holmes may also try and use some of that draft capital acquired in the Matthew Stafford trade and combine it with the seventh overall pick to move up into the top-three to assure themselves of getting the quarterback THEY want (aka Zach Wilson) and not settling on a player.

If the Detroit Lions decide against preparing a package to trade up, I expect in addition to Trevor Lawrence, Wilson will be off the board quite early whether the Jets select him or choose to trade down and use the boatload of draft capital it will take to get the second overall pick to finally surround Sam Darnold with something.

That leaves the Miami Dolphins at three, and I suspect they will either trade out and draft a receiver later in the first round, maybe Rondale Moore, or draft Penei Sewell, the sensational tackle out of Oregon, to protect their young quarterback.  Miami currently owns picks three and 18.  If they opt to trade the third overall pick, think of the additional draft capital this year and in future years they could conceivably receive.

The Atlanta Falcons are set to pick fourth in 2021, and it may just be time to take a quarterback who can sit behind and learn from Matt Ryan for a year.  Both Justin Fields and Trey Lance will benefit from redshirting a year or at the very least half of the season learning from a pros-pro in Ryan.

The Cincinnati Bengals are on the board with the fifth overall pick. With Joe Burrow at quarterback, the pick should be tackle Penei Sewell if he’s available; if not, a playmaking pass-catcher should be a high priority.  I expect the preferred choice will be Ja’Marr Chase.

After the Bengals, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles on the board at six, and to me, this is the biggest wildcard at this point.  The Eagles need a ton of help throughout their roster.  After trading Carson Wentz, are they willing to put all of their eggs in Jalen Hurts’ basket, or will Fields and Trey Lance be an option?  The Eagles have a glaring need at receiver, so they may choose to target DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle.

What should the Detroit Lions do with the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft?

Hypothetically, the Detroit Lions may be on the board at seven deciding between Smith, Waddle, Lance, Fields, Micah Parsons, or Kwity Paye.

Again, don’t rule out the option of trading down.

Maybe someone like the San Francisco 49ers who are sitting at 12 falls in love with Trey Lance or Fields (whoever is available) more than Holmes is and offers up a pick swap along with some mid-round draft picks to sweeten the pot or even some future picks.

At this point, we are not sure if Holmes, who had been ‘pounding the table’ for the Rams to move up and draft Goff with elect to build around Jared or draft a successor.  If it’s the latter, expect Lance or Fields to be in Honolulu Blue next season.

The looming decision on Kenny Golladay‘s future with the Detroit Lions may play a significant role in what the organization does at seven.  If the Lions use the franchise tag on Golladay, they won’t need to rush to draft a receiver at seven, making it easy to pick a defender or trade back and get a receiver or two later in the draft.

If the Detroit Lions are unwilling to pay a receiver upwards of $18 million on a long-term deal, Holmes may tag and trade Golladay leaving a void that needs to be filled.

Drafting Smith or Waddle certainly gives the franchise what is expected to be a WR1 in the near future.  Chase would be a fantastic option. Unfortunately, I don’t expect he will be on the board.

Next. The impact of a Deshaun Watson trade. dark

What do you think the Detroit Lions should do on draft day?  How do you think the top seven picks will shake out?  Let us know in the comments.