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O'HARA'S MOCK 3 4.0: How free agency impacts Lions' pick

The Detroit Lions' focus in the first two weeks of free agency was predictable.

In signings and the trade market, they went heavily for defense at all three levels – defensive line, linebacker and secondary – to upgrade a unit that needed renovating.

Among the additions to the defense: Tackles Danny Shelton and Nick Williams, linebackers Jamie Collins Sr. and Reggie Ragland, cornerback Desmond Trufant and safety Duron Harmon.

Harmon was acquired in a trade, and Trufant was signed as a one-for-one replacement while the Lions were in the process of trading cornerback Darius Slay to the Eagles.

There is room for one more major addition to the defense, and my fourth mock draft – Mock 3 4.0 Free Agent Impact – projects the Lions doing that.

Given the speculation over whether the Lions will trade down to No. 5 with the Dolphins, my Mock 3 4.0 has a "What If?" factor. There are projections of what the Lions do at No. 3, and No. 5:

1. Cincinnati Bengals: There is talk about the Dolphins trying to move into the top spot to draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, but no real talk about the Bengals looking to move down.

The Bengals need a QB, and Burrow is an Ohio kid who's rated the top QB in the draft. Talk's cheap.

Bengals' pick: QB Joe Burrow, LSU.

2. Washington Redskins: My second mock draft projected the Redskins trading down with the Dolphins, and the Dolphins taking Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa – with Burrow off the board. That left edge rusher Chase Young of Ohio State on the board for the Lions.

Young is the Lions' dream pick.

Back to the wake-up call of reality in this mock draft.

No trade for the Redskins.

No Young to the Lions.

Redskins' pick: Edge rusher Chase Young, Ohio State.

3. Detroit Lions: Staying put at No. 3, there is a checklist of possibilities and factors that influence this pick, as follows:

Go for defense: There are three clear choices -- cornerback Jeff Okudah of Ohio State, linebacker Isaiah Simmons of Clemson and tackle Derrick Brown of Auburn.

Okudah: A Day One starter. He can run and cover, he's tough and he's smart.

Simmons: A terrific athlete who can be a combination linebacker/safety. People saw his Combine workout, highlighted by a 4.39 40 time, and figured he'll shred offenses. He might, but there aren't many 238-pound big-time pass rushers.

Brown: Undervalued because he's a tackle. It's not a sexy position, but he would add a penetrating, disruptive force to the interior of the defensive line.

Go for offense: The realistic choices are as follows:

Draft Tagovailoa: I get the infatuation, but drafting him is not what I would do, either for the franchise to begin in a new direction or to serve as Matthew Stafford's understudy.

QB factor detractor: One issue in taking any quarterback this year that gets overlooked is the shutdown of NFL team facilities, with projections that there will be no offseason programs. The first time teams will get together may be in training camp.

Under that condition, the odds are against any rookie quarterback stepping in and playing well without the benefit of an offseason program before the start of training camp.

Other positions on offense don't measure up for a pick at No. 3 or No. 5.

Offensive line: No.

Running back: The top three are D'Andre Swift of Georgia, Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin and J.K. Dobbins of Ohio State. One and perhaps two of them will be available for the Lions' second-round pick (35 overall).

Wide receiver: A deep position, but there is no alpha prospect.

Bottom line: Continue in the draft what the Lions' started in free agency.

View photos of NFL prospect Jeff Okudah.

Lions' pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State. A ready-make starter.

"What if?" Factor: It's the potential payoff and impact from a Lions-Dolphins swap of draft positions.

Dan Orlovsky said on ESPN's "Get Up" morning show this week that it's 100 percent certain a deal will be made. I don't think anything's certain in the NFL, but it's a deal that makes sense for both teams.

The Dolphins made trades in 2019 that let them stockpile three first-round draft picks. It's time to use them and slam the door on the Chargers and any other team that wants to jump ahead of them.

The Lions get extra draft picks, although the payoff might not be as rich as most people think. Whatever it is, it's enough for the Lions to drop down two spots – especially given who's still on the board.

Draft impact after the trade:

3. Dolphins pick: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama.

4. New York Giants: Opinions are divided on whether they get an offensive lineman to protect quarterback Daniel Jones or look for impact on defense.

Giants' pick: OLB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson.

5. Detroit Lions: What they started in free agency -- improving the defense -- continues in the draft.

Lions' pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State. They get the same player they would have taken at No. 3.

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