2023 NFL Draft Recap: Detroit Lions
The 2023 NFL Draft has concluded after months of scrutiny about these prospects, potential landing spots, team and scheme fits, and so on. Now we get to start the entire process all over again now that we have team landing spots for these college prospects with their new NFL teams.
Today, we tackle the Detroit Lions and how they fared in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Detroit's 2023 NFL Draft Selections:
- Round 1, Pick 12 - Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
- Round 1, Pick 18 - Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
- Round 2, Pick 34 - Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
- Round 2, Pick 45 - Brian Branch, CB, Alabama
- Round 3, Pick 68 - Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
- Round 3, Pick 96 - Brodric Martin, DT, Western Kentucky
- Round 5, Pick 152 - Colby Sorsdal, OT, William & Mary
- Round 7, Pick 219 - Antoine Green, WR, North Carolina
The 2023 Fantasy Football Impact:
The prevailing discussion about the Jahmyr Gibbs selection by the Lions was what they would do with Gibbs with D'Andre Swift and David Montgomery. The Lions took care of that question in less than 24 hours as the Lions traded Swift to the Eagles and cleared the runway for Gibbs. Gibbs can do everything Swift can do and more, as Gibbs is a much better pass-catcher who can run routes like a wide receiver. In today's NFL, that's a huge feather in his cap. We saw last season that the Lions were willing to split up running back work with Swift and Jamaal Williams, and it looks like that's exactly what's going to happen with Gibbs and Montgomery in 2023. I'm drafting Gibbs in the middle rounds, especially in PPR formats, as he represents 70+ target upside right out of the gate in his rookie season with Jared Goff — noted checkdown quarterback — throwing the ball to him.
In Sam LaPorta, the Lions likely vault him to the top of the tight end depth chart that was filled with uninspiring options after the trade of T.J. Hockenson last season. LaPorta continues the huge run of Iowa tight ends like Dallas Clark, George Kittle, Hockenson, Noah Fant, and now, LaPorta. He's an athletic freak who ran a high-4.5 40 time with the ball skills to be a matchup problem in-line or out in the slot. Brock Wright could slot ahead of him when the Lions need more of a blocker at the position, but if LaPorta is out there by himself and can run at least 65-70% of routes, it's wheels up in fantasy as a tight end sleeper in redraft and best ball.
The Lions also drafted a possible successor to Goff in quarterback Hendon Hooker, but he'll sit and learn right away as Dan Campbell has already said he needs a 'redshirt year'. In dynasty, he's a solid third-round pick in rookie drafts but is a long-term stash despite Hooker's advanced age (25).
A developmental receiver prospect, Antoine Green has solid size (6-foot-2, 200 lbs.) and a 4.47 40 time at the NFL Combine this past winter. He's a vertical option for the Lions, so without Jameson Williams for his six-game suspension, Green could surprise in camp and earn some early routes on a depth chart with so-so veteran options.
Follow Kevin Tompkins on Twitter @ktompkinsii!