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

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Detroit Lions
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With the 75th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select D’Wayne Eskridge.

This pick is one that I acquired from the Dallas Cowboys before the first-round selection earlier in this mock draft.  As a reminder, I traded the Detroit Lions’ seventh overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys for the tenth overall pick, plus the 75th pick in 2021, and also added Dallas’ second-round pick in 2022.

As mentioned in my description of the previous selection, the Detroit Lions need a plethora of help at the receiver position.  Recently the Lions receiving corps had been rated as the worst position group in the NFL.  The talented Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire breaks it down here.

By drafting a pair of local receivers with back-to-back picks, Michigan’s Nico Collins and D’Wayne Eskridge formally of the Western Michigan Broncos, Holmes will have successfully re-tooled the entire receiver room.

Eskridge will immediately help the Detroit Lions in a variety of ways.  He will have an opportunity to step in and replace the void left behind by Jamal Agnew.

The former Bronco stands 5-foot-9 and plays at about 190-pounds. Last season Eskridge recorded a stellar 768 yards on just 33 receptions plus eight touchdowns in six games.  Eskridge averaged over 20-yards per reception in back-to-back seasons, proving his 4.3-speed allows for an abundance of big-play potential on any given play.

Eskridge has the ability to work as an outside receiver, but I feel he’s best suited lining up in the slot; he’s a player that has successfully transitioned from being a defensive back to a receiver, so his route running ability will need some polish at the next level.  He won’t be able to just run by NFL defensive backs; he will need to add a few tricks to his game before evolving into a complete pass-catcher.

Combined with a lack of depth at the position, the overall potential makes for a fascinating developmental piece for the Detroit Lions.

Notable players available: Quincy Roche, Jamar Johnson, Ben Cleveland, Tommy Togiai, and Milton Williams.