Mock 3 Final Selection has the same result as my first mock draft for who the Detroit Lions draft with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft Thursday night, but they do it a different way.
I'm projecting a trade for the Lions, but it's not the one most people have been predicting.
My projection is a win-win for general manager Bob Quinn. The Lions get a high-quality starter, and they add to their stockpile of draft picks in the deal.
The Lions have done a lot of work in the offseason to improve on last season's 3-12-1 won-loss record. They should add to that effort in the draft.
Here is my Mock 3 Final Selection:
1. Cincinnati Bengals: There have been a few sparks on the possibility of the Bengals trading down, but nobody has started a real fire. The Bengals have a need, a high-quality prospect available to fill it – and support players such as running back Joe Mixon, tight end Tyler Eifert and the presumption that wide receiver A.J. Green will return at full health to make this a good landing spot for a rookie QB. Especially a good one.
Bengals' pick: QB Joe Burrow, LSU.
2. Washington Redskins: New head coach Ron Rivera adds an elite edge rusher – and ends any doubt that he'll fall to the Lions. Dream pick crushed.
Redskins' pick: Edge rusher Chase Young, Ohio State.
3. L.A. Chargers (trade, from Detroit Lions): Their desperate need to get one of the top quarterbacks left on the board forces them to pay a steep price to jump up three spots to get one. They cannot come up empty handed.
Desperate times require desperate measures. Overpaying to switch spots with the Lions is one of them.
Chargers' pick: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama.
4. New York Giants: They need protection for QB Daniel Jones, who they drafted sixth overall last year, to help cut down on his 12 interceptions and 18 fumbles. At least a half dozen offensive tackles are projected to go in the first round. This one is the most athletic, and it's not close to No. 2.
Giants' pick: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa.
5. Miami Dolphins: It wouldn't be a surprise if they've traded up to No. 3, or even to No.4 if the Lions stay at 3. Staying at No. 5 lets the Dolphins draft a quarterback and keep all their three first-round draft picks, which might have been their plan all along.
Dolphins' pick: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon.
6. Detroit Lions: The compensation the Lions get in return makes a trade down a win because they can bolster the defense with a player from the talent pool available for the sixth – or even seventh – pick. With my final mock draft having them at No. 6, I'll count down the three defensive players most likely to be available:
Linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, Clemson: A dynamic athlete, and versatile player. However, there's a question about where he fits as a hybrid linebacker/safety. And at 238 pounds, does he have the bulk to be a consistent pass rusher in the NFL?
I'd rather eliminate questions with this premium pick, not raise them.
Defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Auburn: Many analysts rate him as a top five prospect. He's a disruptive force who wins consistently getting off the ball.
He's my second choice at this spot by little more than a coin flip.
Cornerback Jeff Okudah, Ohio State: As GM Bob Quinn said in his pre-draft press conference, teams need three starting-caliber cornerbacks, and Okudah is an opening-day starter.
Lions' pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State.
He was the pick at No. 3 in my first mock draft, and he fits even better after a trade down. Brown would be my choice as the consolation prize.
Looking slightly ahead: It's not a one-round draft.
After the first pick, the Lions can work on getting a running back or defensive lineman in the second round, or later in the first with a trade up.
With De'Andre Swift of Georgia likely gone, Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin would add production at running back, as would versatile defensive lineman Marlon Davidson of Auburn.
The Lions should have enough draft capital to add quality depth later in the draft, particularly at cornerback, receiver and defensive line.
The Lions are in a good spot in the 2020 draft.
It starts at the top.