Detroit Lions 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Trading down in the first round

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

We’ve finally made it; tonight is day one of the 2021 NFL Draft.  For Detroit Lions fans, it might as well be the Super Bowl.

This article will conclude my series of mock drafts, many of you will rejoice as you’re likely already sick of the plethora of draft coverage, as am I, but I’m very excited to watch how the draft plays out under the new regime.

In the 3.0 version that can be seen here, I predicted that the Lions would complete a trade with the Dallas Cowboys.  Jerry Jones is usually in awe of offensive weapons, and in recent weeks mentioned Kyle Pitts.  I took that notion and made a deal with Dallas adding additional choices and had the Lions moving back to no. 10.

Now I don’t expect Pitts will be available when the Detroit Lions are on the clock with the no. 7 pick, plus the quarterback market is quickly drying up.  I do have something else in store for you, though.

Wednesday, the Denver Broncos, who are slated to draft ninth, traded for Teddy Bridgewater.  This move doesn’t necessarily mean that Denver isn’t in the market for a quarterback, but they may not feel the need to trade up to pick one.  If Trey Lance, Mac Jones, or Justin Fields falls to nine, I expect they will take one.

Without further ado, here is my final Detroit Lions mock draft of 2021. Enjoy.

For this exercise, I will be using the Mock Draft Machine courtesy of the Draft Network.

We have a trade.

I expect general manager Brad Holmes will be working the phones, especially with the first six choices falling into place like this in the simulator;

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence
  2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson
  3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance
  4. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase
  6. Miami Dolphins – Penei Sewell

This left me with a difficult decision; trade the seventh choice or decide between Rashawn Slater and Justin Fields?

I’ve decided to move the draft pick because, to me, the return was far too rich to pass up.  This is a very realistic trade.  If Washington hopes to move up from no. 19 into the top ten, they will need to anti-up.  Not only securing the 51st pick but the future first-round choice in 2022 made this deal a no-brainer.

For the Detroit Lions, if the top-six picks play out this way, that seventh overall pick will garner value because teams can’t be certain Holmes will pass on a quarterback like Fields, and if they hope to select the dual-threat passer, the asking price will increase.

With Fields ripe for the picking, quarterback-hungry teams like Washington, Chicago, and New England may enter a bidding war that only benefits the Detroit Lions.