Lions NFL Draft big board: 50-plus players who could fill positions of need

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Lions NFL Draft big board: 50-plus players who could fill positions of need

The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, and it’s time for one last Detroit Lions big board.

GM Brad Holmes didn’t rule out a trade up or down, and said any moves made will largely depend on the cost and the players available in the range they’d be moving to. Whether the team remains at No. 29 or not, it should have options.

Here are 51 prospects the Lions could consider selecting this weekend. Detroit’s draft picks:

Round Pick Overall Notes










From Vikings







From Buccaneers







Day 1 fits

Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Viewed as one of the best cornerback prospects — if not the best — in the class, Arnold would give the Lions a young, long-term answer at corner. He has the competitive mindset they covet and the team brought him in for a visit. Would it trade up to get him?

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

One of the big winners of the offseason, Mitchell has all the tools to become a quality, scheme-versatile cornerback at the next level. He’s widely viewed as a top-15 player, and a sure-fire first-round defensive prospect in a class without a ton.

Laiatu Latu, edge, UCLA

Arguably the best pure pass rusher in the class, Latu can win with a variety of moves and had excellent production. He should be a high win-rate edge at the next level. The only question is whether he’ll be flagged for medicals (neck).

Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

A disruptive force in the interior, some view Murphy as the best defensive player in the draft. He’s expected to go very high, perhaps even top 10.

Troy Fautanu, T/G, Washington

An athletic offensive lineman who can play either guard or tackle at the next level, Fautanu would check a lot of boxes for the Lions, as they potentially look to bolster their offensive line.

Jared Verse, edge, Florida State

A strong, productive edge with the look of an easy first-rounder, there aren’t many holes in Verse’s game. He could step in immediately as a strong No. 2 edge and help a team win games.

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Perhaps the best receiver outside of the Marvin Harrison Jr./Malik Nabers/Rome Odunze trio, Thomas has great size, athleticism and speed. A true X with the potential to develop into a No. 1 receiver.

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Cornerback? Nickel? Safety? Take your pick. DeJean is an athletic, ball-hungry DB who’s versatile enough to play anywhere in the secondary, and the Lions might be more willing than other teams to select the talent and make the fit work.

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Wiggins’ long speed is the best in the class, running a 4.28 40 at the combine. He was Clemson’s No. 1 CB and allowed a completion percentage of 43.9 when targeted, per Pro Football Focus. He’s rail thin (173 pounds) so he’ll need to continue adding weight and prove he can handle his own against the run in the NFL, but the length/speed profile is enticing.

Late Day 1/Early Day 2 fits

Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois

Newton, with whom the Lions met at the combine and brought in for a top-30 visit, is a complete defensive tackle who provides upside as a pass rusher and run defender. If he’s available at 29, the Lions could create one of the most feared interior defensive line rooms in the league with Alim McNeill, DJ Reader and Newton.

Jackson Powers-Johnson, C/G, Oregon

A powerful, athletic lineman with few holes in his game, Powers-Johnson would be an excellent fit for the Lions. He has Pro Bowl upside as a center and is versatile enough to play guard if needed.

Graham Barton, C/G, Duke

Versatility is Barton’s calling card with the potential to play center, guard or perhaps even some tackle in an emergency situation. The jack-of-all trades option.

Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

A smooth operator at cornerback, McKinstry was a multiyear starter at Alabama and remains a strong option late in the first or early in the second. LSU’s Nabers and Thomas both said McKinstry is the best corner they faced in college. He has the potential to compete for starting reps as a rookie.

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Everything you look for from a potential No. 1 receiver. Size, explosion, separation, speed. Some have questioned his effort, but Mitchell is too talented to last too long in the draft.

Jordan Morgan, G/T, Arizona

An athletic lineman who can project at tackle or guard at the next level, Morgan would be a good fit for the Lions at 29 or perhaps a trade back to the early second. The versatility is enticing.

Darius Robinson, edge, Missouri

Robinson lined up all over the defensive line for Missouri and could do the same in the NFL at 6-foot-5, 286 pounds. He wins with power but lacks some of the pure explosion/speed others at the position have, though, which might devalue him a bit. Still, he earned a draft invite, which suggests he’s viewed as a first-round talent.

Chop Robinson, edge, Penn State

The lack of production in college (just four sacks as a senior) might scare some teams, but Robinson is an explosive, quick-twitched edge with underlying metrics to support more NFL success than collegiate.

Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

A former state wrestling champion and a football junkie who assembled his own home gym in middle school. A finisher at center who might have the chops to play guard, Frazier feels like a strong fit for the Lions.

Kingsley Suamataia, T, BYU

A former five-star recruit and Penei Sewell’s cousin? Sounds like a Lion, should Detroit be in the market for an athletic tackle with upside. The question is where?

Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

He’s not the typical X receiver many have linked to the Lions, but McConkey can separate with the best of them, which gives him the look of a high-floor prospect. The Lions have proven they don’t need the big-bodied, go-up-and-get-it type.

Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

Only one year of strong production due to injuries and personal reasons, but what a year it was. Legette flashed the size/speed potential teams look for, would be great in space and after the catch and can win jump balls. He’s not a finished product, but gives off mini DK Metcalf vibes.

Marshawn Kneeland, edge, Western Michigan

A high-effort, bull-rush edge who was a menace in the MAC. Kneeland must continue refining his pass-rush repertoire but he can help a defensive line room immediately.



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Day 2 fits

Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri

A fiery, feisty cornerback who defends the run at a high level, Rakestraw has many qualities that translate well at the next level. His 4.51 40 at the combine didn’t help his stock, but he’s widely viewed as a top-50 prospect.

Mike Sainristil, DB, Michigan

Sainristil might be the Brian Branch of this class — an NFL-ready nickel who will be a Day 2 pick because of measurables and quickly prove everyone wrong. Would the Lions make it work?

Cooper Beebe, G, Kansas State

Beebe could be lower than others at his position because he lacks positional versatility and won’t wow anyone with his movement skills, but he’s dependable and steady, with the look of a ready-made guard.

Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Coleman won’t be for everyone, but he has a skill set the Lions lack on their roster. On the outside, he could win with his athleticism and leaping ability, and as a big slot receiver, he could routinely bully nickels with his ability to break tackles and underrated YAC skills. He plays faster than his 40 time suggests, and a team like the Lions could unlock the best in his game.

Roman Wilson, WR, Michigan

Wilson could add more speed to the Lions’ receiver room. He’s more of a slot WR at 5-foot-10, but the Lions could make it work. Detroit hosted Wilson for a top-30 visit and he attended the team’s local day.

Christian Haynes, G, UConn

Brings strength, finishing ability and football IQ to any offensive line room he joins. Would be a good replacement for Kevin Zeitler in 2025, should he not return, and good insurance in 2024.

Michael Hall Jr., DT, Ohio State

A long-armed, quick-twitch athlete with high motor is the sort of combination that will get you a look early. Hall fits the description and could go higher than most think. One of the youngest players in the class.

Chris Braswell, edge, Alabama

An edge with a quick first-step who knows how to convert power to speed, Braswell has the look of a Day 2 talent while he continues to develop his pass-rush moves.

Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida

A skilled receiver with excellent hands, Pearsall is good at separating and getting open. A likely Day 2 pick who could contribute immediately.

Adisa Isaac, edge, Penn State

Isaac is another edge with traits and twitch. He recorded 27 tackles for loss in his final 26 games and is generally viewed as a top-50ish prospect. He has some freelance tendencies, but that could be worked out of his game with NFL coaching.



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Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson

Orhorhoro didn’t play football until his junior year of high school, but he’s gotten better and better with each passing year. His combination of tools (34-inch arms, 4.89 40 at 6-foot-4 and 292 pounds) and versatility (lined up from zero to nine-tech) makes him an intriguing option for a team looking to add to its defensive line room.

Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

Lassiter carries himself like a 10-year vet and can play either man or zone coverage. He’s smooth in coverage, an aggressive tackler in space and comes with a championship pedigree. Good-looking prospect who could be there for the Lions in the second.

Max Melton, CB, Rutgers

Another cornerback with inside-outside versatility, Melton is a press-man talent and should be available on Day 2. His 4.39 speed is extremely enticing in this range.

Andru Phillips, CB, Kentucky

A feisty cornerback with a broad view of the game and inside-out versatility, Phillips has been to Allen Park for a top-30 visit and should be on Detroit’s radar. He’s been receiving more and more buzz throughout the process.



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Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

No defensive tackle helped his stock at the combine more than Fiske. While Fiske has below-average length (31-inch arms), he makes up for it with elite athleticism.

Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington

If the Lions would rather wait on a WR, a prospect like Polk makes a lot of sense. He plays with great body control and can make contested catches.

Dominick Puni, G/T, Kansas

A versatile lineman who could potentially play guard, tackle or center at the next level. An early backup with starting potential.

Austin Booker, edge, Kansas

An inexperienced, but not quite raw, edge prospect with a good set of tools with which to work. Booker could be a sub-package rotational player as a rookie, while growing into a starter.

Javon Baker had 1,935 receiving yards and 12 TDs in two seasons at UCF. (Kevin Jairaj / USA Today)

Late Day 2/Day 3 fits

Javon Baker, WR, UCF

Baker, a former Alabama WR, can make all the contested catches. He needs to continue developing his route tree but there are tools with which to work.

Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest

Carson projects as a scheme-versatile corner and met with the Lions during the pre-draft process. He battled injuries but there’s a lot to like about his game.

Jalyx Hunt, edge, Houston Christian

A former safety who runs a 4.64 40 at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, Hunt feels like a late riser.

Brendan Rice, WR, USC

The son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Brendan Rice is looking to make a name for himself in the NFL. He’s a solid route runner with a knack for the end zone. Could contribute early as a rotational X receiver.

Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri

A cornerback with inside-outside versatility, Abrams-Draine has the look of a future starting DB. His ball skills at Missouri (40 passes defended his final three years) make him an intriguing fit if he can stay on the outside, though his frame might have teams viewing him as a nickel.

Tanor Bortolini, C, Wisconsin

If the first and early second round is too rich for a team with future center needs, Bortolini could be the guy on Day 3. He’s athletic (broke Jason Kelce’s combine three-cone record with a 7.16 time) and one of the smartest players in the class (recruited by Harvard and Yale).

Renardo Green, CB, Florida State

Green’s 2023 LSU tape might get him drafted alone, holding his own against Nabers and Thomas. Some teams will want more size and ball skills from their corners, but on Day 2 or 3, he has the man skills and mentality a lot of defensive coordinators will like.

Khyree Jackson, CB, Oregon

It’s all about length with Jackson, who comes in at 6-foot-3 with 32 3/4-inch arms. Jackson has a dawg mentality but can be grabby and is still working on route recognition. If the Lions are looking for a Day 3 corner, he’d be a good investment.

Zak Zinter, G, Michigan

A local product and multiyear starter at Michigan, Zinter had the look of a Day 2 pick before a late-season injury. When healthy, he projects as a starting guard, and you might be able to get him at a discount.

Delmar Glaze, G, Maryland

A tackle in college, Glaze could benefit from a move to guard. He has long arms and his movement skills would translate better inside.

Khristian Boyd, DT, Northern Iowa

A powerful, big-bodied defensive tackle with underrated pass-rush skills, Boyd won over some teams at the East-West Shrine Bowl. He’d be an intriguing fit on Day 3.

(Top photo of Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell:  Lon Horwedel / USA Today)