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MOCK DRAFT WATCH: How free agency moves affect predictions for Lions 

The first wave of free agency is complete and while teams will continue to sign veteran players during the second wave, the heavy lifting in free agency for most teams is done. That means there's a much clearer picture heading into the draft about remaining positions of need for most clubs.

Here's a look at the most recent mock drafts following the first wave of free agency:

Daniel Jeremiah,

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 6)

Why: Witherspoon doesn't have ideal size (5-foot-11 1/2, 181 pounds), but his game is very similar to that of Denzel Ward, who, like Witherspoon, played his college football in the Big Ten. Detroit has some difference-makers on the defensive front and has made some nice additions to the secondary this offseason, but Witherspoon's instincts and ball skills would fit beautifully in the back end.

Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh (No. 18)

Why: Lions GM Brad Holmes spent a lot of time around Aaron Donald during his previous stop as the Rams' director of college scouting. Kancey isn't on Donald's level -- nobody is -- but his explosive quickness would beautifully complement Detroit's young edge rushers to give the Lions a fearsome pass-rush group.

Bucky Brooks,

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 6)

Why: The spectacular cover corner is a man-to-man coverage specialist with the skills to flourish in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's system.

Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh (No. 18)

Why: The Lions have assembled a collection of high-energy defenders on the frontline with non-stop motors and polished pass-rushing skills. Adding Kancey, a relentless interior rusher, to the mix would enable Aaron Glenn to overwhelm opponents with pressure.

Charles Davis,

Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia (No. 6)

Why: After putting on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine, Mr. Smith packs for the Motor City to give Aidan Hutchinson a tag-team partner. Cornerback is also a consideration here.

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 18)

Why: Despite signing several new DBs in free agency, the Lions again look to bolster a secondary that has to deal with Minnesota's Justin Jefferson twice per season.

Eric Edholm,

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: The Lions could continue adding at cornerback even after making moves to upgrade the secondary in free agency.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: The trade of T.J. Hockenson left a pretty big hole at the position. Head coach Dan Campbell should love the chance to draft a Jason Witten-style replacement in Mayer, and I think GM Brad Holmes will love the fact that Mayer is still only 21 years old.

Chad Reuter,

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (No. 6)

Why: Carter's pro day performance was far from ideal, but the quick resolution of his legal issues could allay teams' concerns about picking him in the top 10. The Lions need playmakers like Carter on the defensive interior, with 2021 second-round pick Levi Onwuzurike unable to contribute last season because of a back issue that has bothered him since his college days.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 18)

Why: The Lions can't ignore Witherspoon's value here even after making some upgrades in the secondary via free agency.

Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon (No. 48)

Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State (No. 55)

Aidan O'Connell, QB, Purdue (No. 81)

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (No. 6)

Why: He's no longer in the mix to be the No. 1 pick. Everything I've heard from people in the league, however, is he won't drop too far -- he likely still will be a top-10 selection. Carter's talent is undeniable, and I could see a team such as the Lions taking him here, filling a position of need.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: Mayer is the most complete tight end in this class. He's physical as a run-blocker, and he can run seam routes and get open for quarterback Jared Goff. He caught 67 passes for 809 yards and nine touchdowns last season and had 180 catches in his college career. He could be the lead guy in Detroit.

Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN

Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech (No. 6)

Why: Wilson had an outstanding career at Texas Tech after transferring from Texas A&M and logged 14 sacks over the past two seasons. He's long and plays with heavy hands. Wilson paired with Aidan Hutchinson provides Detroit an outstanding duo of pass-rushers for the next decade.

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (No. 18)

Why: A team with multiple first-round picks can take a calculated risk. Carter is just that. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing after an arrest during combine week, and he appeared out of shape at his pro day in mid-March. But despite just six sacks over the past two seasons, his talent is on another level, and this could end up a great pick at No. 18.

Jordan Reid, ESPN

Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech (No. 6)

Why: Wilson is a versatile edge rusher who can play multiple positions and fits the traits Detroit has gravitated toward during the Brad Holmes-Dan Campbell era. Wilson's length, strength and upside are intriguing, and he could be a key part of the Lions' offseason defensive makeover.

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland (No. 18)

Why: Banks fits the prototype of what NFL teams want from outside corners. At 6 feet, 197 pounds, he's an aggressive defender who plays the game with lots of savvy and awareness.

Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin (No. 48)

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (No. 55)

Braeden Daniels, OL, Utah (No. 81)

Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane (No. 152)

Davis Allen, TE, Clemson (No. 183)

Jadon Haselwood, WR, Arkansas (No. 194)

Nate Davis, USA Today

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (No. 6)

Why: It's shaping up as one of the most fascinating pivot points of the first round, the Lions apparently completely comfortable with QB Jared Goff and probably unlikely to take his long-term successor. A trade could also be a viable option here for GM Brad Holmes, who doesn't need to reach for a linebacker or tight end this early. Of course, he could easily settle on the best player – clearly Carter.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: He catches (138 receptions for 1,649 yards over past two seasons), he blocks, he scores (16 TDs over past two seasons), and the 2022 All-American is huge (6-5, 249 pounds). He'd certainly garner appreciation from a former tight end like Campbell and for a team that needs to replace T.J. Hockenson, who was traded last season.

Diante Lee & Nate Tice, The Athletic

Myles Murphy, DL, Clemson (No. 6)

Why: Pass rush is the priority if the Lions hope to take the next step, and Murphy is the best edge in this class not named Will Anderson Jr.

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State (No. 18)

Why: In 2022, the Lions struggled to stop the run, tackled poorly as a team and gave up all manner of explosive plays. So this pick gives Dan Campbell an immediate answer. With C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Emmanuel Moseley and Cam Sutton, the Lions have added slot defenders, a No. 2 corner and a safety to pair with Kerby Joseph. Porter is 6-2 with long arms, 4.4 speed and great instincts, which should give him as good a chance as any DB in this class to develop into a star. — Lee

Brad Spielberger, Pro Football Focus

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida (No. 3 via trade w/ Arizona)

Why: Detroit sends No's. 6, 48, 81, 2024 1st, 2024 4th; Arizona sends No. 3. They make a bold move up for the most athletically gifted quarterback we've seen in a long time.

Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh (No. 18)

Why: Kancey's 92.4 pass-rush grade and 18.1% pressure rate led all FBS interior defenders in 2022, with his 22.7% pass-rush win rate placing second. He was as productive an interior pass rusher as you can find, and even if he has a bit of a specialized role early in his career, it's a very valuable specialty.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports

Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech (No. 6)

Why: Detroit lands a lengthy edge rusher that is only scratching the surface of his potential and plops him on that defensive line opposite Aidan Hutchinson.

Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh (No. 18)

Why: Detroit is not going to be afraid to take an undersized interior defender. General manager Brad Holmes was in Los Angeles when the team selected Aaron Donald. Kancey is not Donald, but the Lions upgrade the pass rush across the board with a player who can shoot gaps and get into the backfield.

View photos from the Annual League Meetings in Phoenix, Ariz.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: They added some corner help in free agency, especially Cam Sutton, but you can never have enough corners in this league. Christian Gonzalez is the best of this class.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: They traded away T.J. Hockenson last year, so why not get his replacement? They have some solid guys, but Michael Mayer can be special. He is the top tight end in this class in my book.

Will Brinson, CBS Sports

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (No. 6)

Why: I'd never be surprised to see the Lions draft a hog molly on either side of the ball, but with their investments in the trenches the last few years they could dabble on the back end of this defense.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: Detroit dealt T.J. Hockenson midseason last year and has a void at tight end. The Lions could have gone Luke Musgrave here, but Mayer is a run-blocker who fits what Dan Campbell and this front office like to build around.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa (No. 6)

Why: The Lions had a need at cornerback ... and promptly addressed it to start free agency, adding Cam Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley. And while there is depth at defensive end, Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris are entering the final year of their deals and the opportunity to pair Lucas Van Ness with Aidan Hutchinson is too good to pass up.

Lions trade No. 18 to L.A. Rams, who select Kentucky QB Will Levis and get picks 36, 77, and a 2024 2nd-rounder in return.

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (No. 6)

Why: Carter's legal issues are no longer a problem, and I'm not sure any NFL team was as concerned about them as they were about his performance at his pro day. Still, I don't expect he'll fall too far in the draft, and he fills a need for Detroit in the middle of its defensive line.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (No. 18)

Why: The Lions need a bigger-bodied target in the receiving game, but there isn't an obvious choice at WR. So why not go with a big-bodied tight end who is just as effective in the passing game as an in-line blocker? Mayer is the type of player I can see the Lions appreciating.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU (No. 16 after trade w/ Commanders)

Why: The Lions get their outside, go-up-and-get-it receiver after a trade back and net Washington's third-round pick (No. 97) plus a 2024 first-round selection in the move. Win!

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (No. 18)

Why: The Lions are the club that snags Robinson in Round 1, and they can accentuate his early prime years with the awesome blocking unit they have in Detroit.

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida (No. 6)

Why: The Lions have expressed the utmost confidence in Jared Goff as their starting QB this offseason, but in this scenario, Anthony Richardson being available is too good to pass up. Making this decision easier is the fact that Detroit has already addressed one of its biggest needs, cornerback, in free agency by signing Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley. All of the sudden, this franchise is in position to win now while grooming Richardson, who has the most potential of any QB in the draft, to take the reigns when he's ready.

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah (No. 18)

Why: The Lions have done a good job addressing defensive needs in free agency, so they continue adding to the offense in the first round. Dalton Kincaid is one of the best pass-catchers in this class, regardless of position, and Anthony Richardson will love throwing to him for years to come.

Jason McIntyre, Fox Sports

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky (No. 6)

Why: Detroit's defense ranked near the bottom in every metric in 2022, but adding a QB on the rookie deal enables them to move on from Jared Goff in 2024, spend money on free agents and make a title run.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 18)

Why: Boy, the Lions are sitting pretty with a ton of options thanks to extra draft picks. They picked up two CBs in free agency, and we'll see what happens with former top-five pick Jeff Okudah, who was benched last season.

Greg Auman, Fox Sports

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (No. 11 after trade w/ Titans)

Why: Lions get the No. 11 and No. 41 pick in the trade. Detroit needed to aggressively upgrade its defense and adding corner Cam Sutton and safety C.J. Gardner Johnson are big steps toward that. But Witherspoon would allow the Lions to move on from Jeff Okudah.

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia (No. 18)

Why: Head coach Dan Campbell was a tight end, the Lions lost T.J. Hockenson and, most importantly, Washington is a beast. At 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds, he still ran a 4.64-second 40. He was Georgia's second-best tight end, only because Brock Bowers will be a high draft pick in 2024.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky (No. 6)

Why: The Lions should be on high alert to take a QB with a higher ceiling than Jared Goff given how everything else is coming together for their loaded offense with Levis' cannon being the key calling card. Detroit could think about moving on from Goff soon and push to win big with a QB on a rookie contract.

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah (No. 18)

Why: Kincaid didn't work out at the Combine because of a minor back injury but the fact Mayer disappointed with his athleticism helped Kincaid stand out more for his skill set as a smooth, potential game-breaking receiver. The Lions should think about him as a strong receiving-first replacement for T.J. Hockenson.

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