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TWENTYMAN: 5 prospects who make sense for Lions at 7

When a team is selecting in the top 10 of the NFL Draft, there's always a group of players that provide the best value for a pick that high.

"You have to know all those players that are deserving of that high of selection," Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes said of having the No. 7 overall pick. "So, it doesn't change that approach in terms of the players that we've been discussing and may be there or may not be there."

There are five quarterbacks that could potentially be selected in the top 10, with Holmes not ruling out the Lions selecting a signal caller at No. 7, even after the trade that brought Jared Goff, 26, to Detroit this offseason.

There's a group of three receivers that appear to be the best of the best, and deserving of a top pick.

Florida's Kyle Pitts, who is listed as a tight end, but is more of an overall offensive weapon, won't likely get out of the top 10.

Two offensive tackle prospects are battling to be the top tackle off the board, and both could be top 10 picks.

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons is an athletic freak and arguably the best defensive prospect in the draft, and he could also be in the running for a top 10 pick.

That's 11 prospects, but who are the five that fit the Lions the most? Let's take a look.

1. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The Lions are in need of a legitimate No. 1 receiving threat after the loss of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. in free agency. The Lions brought in productive veterans like Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman, but both of those players are on one-year deals and have never been true No. 1 receivers in the league.

Chase is arguably the best receiver in a loaded class. He notched 84 receptions, 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019. He opted out of the 2020 season. He ran the 40 in 4.34 seconds at his pro day, so he has speed to go with terrific production.

An amazing 85.1 percent of his college catches resulted in a first down or touchdown, and he led all FBS receivers with 23 broken tackles in 2019, per The Athletic.

Chase has the same kind of skill set and mentality to make him an immediate producer in the NFL, much like Vikings rookie Justin Jefferson last year, who was Chase's teammate at LSU in 2019.

2. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Sewell says he plays the game with violent intentions, which is great for an offensive tackle. He plays with a toughness and edge, but doesn't lose fundamentally sound play in the process. Sewell allowed just one sack over the last two seasons playing left tackle (over 1,300 snaps).

The Lions have one starting spot open at right tackle, which would make Sewell an ideal selection at No. 7, not only in terms of value, but need as well.

Drafting the best offensive tackle in this class at No. 7 would solidify Detroit's offensive line for years to come and make it one of their most talented and deep position groups. Detroit could potentially have one of the better offensive lines in the league with the addition of Sewell.

3. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Some may look at Pitts and wonder why the team would select another tight end in the top 10 after taking T.J. Hockenson at No. 8 in 2019, but Pitts is a special prospect. He measures in at nearly 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, but ran the 40 at his pro day in 4.44 seconds. He also has an amazing 83-inch wing span.

Pitts recorded 12 touchdowns in eight games this past season, earning the highest pass-catching grade Pro Football Focus has ever given out. Of his 12 touchdowns last season, five came with him playing as an in-line tight end, three when played in the slot and four when he was lined up wide as a receiver. Think of Pitts as an offensive weapon and mismatch. ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky described Pitts as an information giver for an offense. He's a weapon teams can move around, and see how the defense matches with him, which gives insight into what coverage the defense is in.

Putting Pitts on the field opposite Hockenson is a mismatch nightmare. Add in Williams' ability to stretch the field on the outside, and running back D’Andre Swift's ability to be a big-time receiving threat out of the backfield, and how does a defense go about trying to match up with all four? Adding Pitts would give new Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn a lot of really nice options.

4. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Waddle might be the closest comparison to Chiefs dynamic playmaker Tyreek Hill the NFL Draft has seen since Hill was selected in the fifth round in 2016.

Waddle has special athleticism and speed, which is evident by his career 18.9-yard average per reception, which is the second highest in Alabama school history. Over half of his career receiving yards came after the catch, showing how deadly he can be as a runner. He had four receptions of 75-plus yards at Alabama. Waddle suffered a fractured ankle last season, though he returned for the National Championship Game, so the medical evaluations will be an important part of the pre-draft evaluation with Waddle.

Waddle also has a career 19.3 punt-return average. Expect him to be an instant playmaker as a versatile receiver and return man.

5. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Quarterbacks have ton of value in the top 10, and Lance might have the most upside of any of the five quarterbacks expected to come off the board at the top of the draft.

Lance was only a starter for one season, but he ran a pro system at NDS, played under center some and coordinated protections at the line of scrimmage. His last full season in 2019 was pretty special. He completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Lance has terrific size (6-3, 224) and athleticism, and checks off all the boxes in terms of the skills teams like to see from the position.

Lance fits for Detroit because his ceiling is sky high, but he might need some development early on with only 17 starts under his belt. He could compete and learn under a veteran like Goff, who has won a lot of big games in this league.

The Lions likely will have to make a decision on the future at the position following the 2022 season, and by then Lance could be in a position to compete for the starting job, or be a candidate for trade.

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