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

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Detroit Lions
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With the 153rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select Ambry Thomas.

As it stands, this will be the final pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for the Lions as they currently do not hold a selection in the sixth or seventh rounds.

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Depending on which mock draft you look at, Thomas seems to be often projected as a fourth or fifth-round selection.  With the Detroit Lions picking early on in the fifth round, there is a chance Thomas slides to no. 153 to land a developmental potential starting NFL corner.

This organization is very familiar with drafting starting corners late in the draft; Amani Oruwariye was taken with the 146th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.  This is one of the few gems former GM Bob Quinn left us with.  I will say Thomas has a much higher ceiling than Oruwariye and the only reason he may slide this far in the draft is due to not playing last season.

Although Oruwariye has yet to reach his full potential, he proved last season performing as the teams’ most reliable corner that there is plenty of talent left to unlock.

Thomas can break into the NFL as a rookie and immediately help an NFL team on special teams plus help out the defense as a depth corner.  It won’t take long before Thomas starts to unseat starting corners and breaks into the starting lineup as an outside corner.

The former Wolverine has sub 4.4 speed and exceptional ball skills.  Thomas performed well in Don Brown’s man-to-man defense but has the ability to excel in the flat while playing zone coverage.  As a junior in 2019, Thomas compiled 38 tackles, three interceptions with the Wolverines.

Like many of the prospects mentioned early on in this mock draft, Thomas decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The former Wolverine, likewise to Collins, chose to sit out after the Big Ten had been quick to postpone their schedule with a hope to play in the Spring.  As it turned out, the conference returned to play a condensed schedule far later than all of the other conferences later this past fall.

This is a no-brainer if he’s available here.  If he does not fall this far, the Detroit Lions can look to one of Thomas’ college rivals and consider selecting Shakur Brown out of Michigan State.  Either way, they go; I like a corner in this spot.  But in this mock simulation, Thomas remained available, so that’s the pick.

Seven-Round Mock NFL Draft with trades 2.0. dark. Next

Notable players available: Marlon Williams, Rashard Weaver, Marco Wilson, Jonathan Cooper, and Shi Smith.