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

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
7 of 7
Detroit Lions, Alim McNeill
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

With the 112th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select Alim McNeill.

I am staying on par here with Alim McNeill as I did in my previous mock draft.  I think McNeill can immediately be an impactful nose tackle for the Detroit Lions.

McNeill is a tremendous run stuffer that has the tools to develop into a reliable three-down interior lineman.  If the Detroit Lions can land McNeill here in the fourth round, there is a real possibility he finds himself lining up alongside veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers on week one of the 2021 season.

The former high school linebacker turned nose tackle has that raw athletic ability and quickness many teams look for in a three-down nose tackle.  McNeill can play as a 3-4 tackle or the one-technique in a 4-3 front.

The Detroit Lions, like many NFL teams, hope to run a defense that uses multiple sets and multiple fronts, hoping to disguise coverage and pressure; McNeill can perform well in various fronts.

In three seasons at North Carolina State, McNeill achieved 77 total tackles and ten sacks plus even recorded an interception he returned for a touchdown.

As it stands, the Detroit Lions will rely on John Penisini, Nick Williams, along with Brockers; adding McNeill will really help this rotation now and in the years to come.

Notable players available: Tyler Shelvin, Jaylen Twyman, Chatarius Atwell, Israel Mukuamu, Marvin Wilson, Derrick Barnes, Patrick Jones II.

More from Detroit Jock City

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

Again, this pick is the same as my previous mock draft.  The Detroit Lions have a need at the corner position, and Thomas brings a potential starting outside corner to the organization in the fifth round.

Like his teammate Nico Collins, Thomas decided to opt out of the 2020 season after the Big Ten quickly canceled their fall schedule due to the COVID-19 concerns.

The former Wolverine is a physical corner that played exceptionally well in Don Brown’s aggressive defense.  Thomas is a sub 4.4 athlete and, as a junior, totaled three interceptions along with 38 tackles.

It’s a Lions secondary that needs help; there is nothing wrong with some healthy competition between Thomas, Amani Oruwariye, Quinton Dunbar, and Jeff Okudah for the two starting outside jobs.

5 possible picks at seventh overall. dark. Next

Notable players available: Shakur Brown, Marlon Williams, Marco Wilson, Bryce Thompson, Josh Bledsoe, Shi Smith.