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, Jabril Cox
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

With the 72nd overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select Jabril Cox.

Jabril Cox is one of my draft crushes, and if you have been following my work, he’s a name that often surfaces.  Although he’s a draft crush of mine, Cox does come with plenty of question marks as he’s somewhat of a one-trick pony at the moment.

Cox is not Micah Parsons, but he has plenty of positive traits that should translate well at the NFL level.  The North Dakota State star transferred to LSU for his final season at the NCAA level, and it’s a move that seems to have paid off.  That’s not taking away from NDS, but unless you are a quarterback, it’s not always a guarantee your stock will rise, or you will even be found until after the draft concludes.

But both Carson Wentz and Trey Lance have put NDS on the map in recent years.

The Tigers linebacker held a Pro Day this past Monday, and the Detroit Lions were in attendance.  Cox projects to be an elite coverage linebacker that will pair very nicely with Jamie Collins on the Detroit Lions, who displays a similar skill-set.

The Detroit Lions linebackers were often embarrassed in coverage during the Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia era, so this is certainly what I consider to be the perfect fit.  Cox displayed solid burst in his ten and 20-yard splits and ran a 4.5 40-time, exceptional for a linebacker.

Cox needs to vastly improve as a tackler to become a three-down backer and could stand to thicken up some as he plays at just 233-pounds at 6-foot-3.

My main concern here is his ability to get a ball carrier to the ground, as previously mentioned.  I really hope this isn’t an elite coverage backer that becomes Jarrad Davis in space or one-on-one with a ball carrier.

Notable players available: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Pete Warner, Milton Williams, Chazz Surratt, Josh Myers.