Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

The Detroit Lions have the ability to add to a playoff-ready roster in the 2023 NFL Draft as they look to take the next step.

Even after a strong NFL free agency, the Detroit Lions still have holes on their roster to potentially fill in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Lions were a near-playoff team and look to cross that threshold this coming season. With just a few upgrades, the Lions should be able to contend for their division and a postseason berth, but their draft plan needs to be aggressive.

Detroit Lions Team Needs Following Round 1

  • CB
  • TE
  • QB
  • EDGE

Jared Goff has been more than serviceable in helping to return the Lions to relevance. However, it should be no surprise to anyone that we’ve likely seen his best. To get to where they want to go, the Lions likely need better. Following Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Lions made it clear, they were adding to the arsenal around Goff and are going to let it ride with him for at least one more year.

MORE: 100% FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator (With Trades)

Additionally, Detroit’s defense was, shall we say, lacking. In fact, Trey Wingo and I took to calling them “Etroit” last season due to the missing D. The Lions had a top-three scoring offense in scoring behavior rate (SBR), averaging over one point per minute of possession time.

Their defense, though, spent the first half of the season as one of the worst in preventing scoring. They progressed as the season went on, but adding talent there should be a top priority.

Results for Lions 2023 Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 12: Jahmyr Gibbs

Following a trade, the Lions made a surprising selection by grabbing Jahmyr Gibbs, the second-rated running back in the draft, at pick No. 12. Already having D’Andre Swift in the fold, this seemed to be a bit high and poor use of resources at this point in the draft.

Do they keep Swift? Reports suggest they are already receiving phone calls.

Round 1, Pick18: Jack Campbell, LB

There are two positions quickly being devalued in the NFL Draft — running back and off-ball linebacker. With their two first-round picks, the Lions took both.

MORE: Detroit Lions NFL Draft Grades 2023

Jack Campbell is a solid ball player, but as Tony Pauline said to me during our first-round live show when the pick came in, this seemed a bit high to not only draft this position but also to draft this particular player.

Predictions for Remaining Team 2023 Draft Picks

Round 2, Pick 17: Luke Musgrave, TE

Luke Musgrave fills the Lions’ need at tight end. He’s a great athlete in open space and has an excellent ability to turn tight corners with burst.

Round 2, Pick 24: Steve Avila, G

Guard may not be a pressing need, but chasing a need at this spot would lead to over-drafting a player at another position. If Steve Avila is available, the Lions add a great locker-room presence and a player who plays with the nastiness Dan Campbell loves.

Round 3, Pick 18: Zach Charbonnet, RB

Again, running back is not a pressing need entering 2023. Still, with how the board could fall, Zach Charbonnet could be the best player available. Current starter D’Andre Swift is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and Charbonnet could take over the role in 2024.

Round 5, Pick 17: Isaiah McGuire, EDGE

The Lions don’t have a dire need at EDGE, but they would like to add to their middle-of-the-road sack numbers. However, where that edge player would be most helpful is in cleaning up a bottom-three league run defense.

Isaiah McGuire plays with an explosive power to his game, which may help him fall this far in the draft as he doesn’t have the gaudy sack numbers. McGuire fits exactly what the Lions need at this position.

Round 5, Pick 24: Myles Brooks, CB

The Lions have an opportunity to add to their secondary and further plug a hole. Myles Brooks is a big-bodied corner with good ball skills and jumping ability. He needs refinement but could develop into quality depth.

Round 6, Pick 6: Jalen Graham, LB

This will not solve the linebacker need this late in the draft, but it will provide Detroit with a player who has traits to be developed. Jalen Graham is high energy and flies around the ball in both the pass and against the run. Graham is undersized, which is likely why he’s here this late in the draft.

Round 6, Pick 17: Jaxon Player, DT

Doesn’t fill a need, but Jaxon Player is a player you hope can be developed for depth and aid in cleaning up a terrible run defense.

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