Detroit Lions Mock Draft 3.0: Trading back in the first round

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Lions
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With the 72nd overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select Nico Collins.

The trend continues, yet another draft prospect that opted out of the 2020 NCAA season.  These types of players come with some risk of being out of the game for a year, but we need to understand there is plenty of opportunities to secure a player with a high ceiling because of this.

The Detroit Lions are in dire need of a complete receiver room overhaul after seeing star pass-catcher Kenny Golladay sign a massive deal with the New York Giants in free agency.

The Lions also lost Marvin Jones, plus the sensational kick returner and big-play potential gadget offensive weapon in Jamal Agnew on the open market to the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The organization also lost veteran slot receiver, Danny Amendola.

Holmes tried to replace some of this offensive production with veterans Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. They hope to see a significant boost in production from second-year pass-catcher Quintez Cephus.

I don’t look at any of these receivers and see a WR1, and it’s difficult to ask a rookie that opted out of the 2020 season, but Collins will immediately have a chance to step in and play as a starting outside receiver with the Detroit Lions.

Collins is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver who ran a 4.4 40-yard dash on his pro day.  I didn’t expect that type of speed and quickness from Collins, and he certainly helped his draft stock with that performance.

The former Michigan Wolverine was a victim of inconsistent quarterback play in his two seasons as a regular.  Collins recorded 78 grabs totaling 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns in 27 total games.  His 17.8 yards per reception is very appealing, and his massive catch radius, aided by his 78-plus inch wingspan, gives a quarterback like Jared Goff a much-needed outside weapon.

Collins is a walking mismatch and a bargain at 72 for the Detroit Lions.

Notable players available: D’Wayne Eskridge, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Milton Williams, Richie Grant, Payton Turner, and Tommy Togiai.