Detroit Lions 2024 NFL Draft guide: Picks, predictions and key needs


“The Beast,” Dane Brugler’s expansive guide to the NFL Draft, is here. 

The Detroit Lions have the 29th pick in the NFL Draft when the first round begins April 25 in Detroit. The Lions own seven total picks in the seven-round draft.

Lions’ draft picks

Round Pick Overall Notes

1

29

29

2

29

61

3

9

73

From Vikings

5

29

164

6

25

201

From Buccaneers

6

29

205

7

29

249

Full draft order

Every pick in the seven-round NFL Draft.

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NFL Draft 2024 ‘The Beast’ Guide: Dane Brugler’s scouting reports and player rankings

NFL Draft details

• Round 1: April 25, 8 p.m. ET
• Rounds 2-3: April 26, 7 p.m. ET
• Rounds 4-7: April 27, noon ET

All rounds will be televised on ESPN/ABC and NFL Network and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.

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Lions coach Dan Campbell (left) and GM Brad Holmes recently earned contract extensions. (Vasha Hunt / USA Today)

About the Lions

• Head coach: Dan Campbell (fourth season)
• General manager: Brad Holmes
• Last year’s record: 12-5

The Detroit Lions — yes, those Detroit Lions — worked hard last season to change the perception of a franchise known for losing. They exorcised demons, winning their first division title in 30 years and their first playoff game in 32 years. They advanced all the way to the NFC Championship Game, falling just short of the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl appearance. And now, entering Year 4 under Campbell and Holmes, the Lions hope to be the last team standing come February. On their quest to do so, they made moves to acquire cornerback Carlton Davis III, defensive tackle DJ Reader and guard Kevin Zeitler, among others, this offseason. They have the look of a true contender in 2024, and believe they’re just getting started.

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Lions’ key position needs

Offensive line: Detroit’s offensive line is one of the better units in the league, but how will it look next year? Taylor Decker will be a free agent in 2025. Same with Zeitler, who will be 35 next year. Frank Ragnow is coming off an All-Pro season, but as injuries pile up, how much longer will he want to subject himself to the physical grind of the center position? It wouldn’t be the worst move for the Lions to look at the line as a whole.

Cornerback: The Lions signed two in free agency and also re-signed Emmanuel Moseley (coming off a torn ACL) but they haven’t drafted a top-100 cornerback since Jeff Okudah in 2020. Might this be the year that changes?

Edge: The Lions have solid pieces at edge that work well together, like Josh Paschal, James Houston and the newly signed Marcus Davenport, if he can stay healthy. However, they lack a long-term, disruptive talent opposite of Aidan Hutchinson.

Wide receiver: Holmes has long coveted an athletic, big-bodied X receiver, but hasn’t been able to land him. In a receiver-rich draft, this could be the year to go get one.

Lions draft analysis

Lions NFL mock draft reaction: Zach Frazier is a perfect fit, but what about others?

Lions ready to move — up or down — to get their guys in the NFL Draft

Who are best NFL Draft fits for the Lions? What we learned from ‘The Beast’

Lions 2024 NFL mock draft scenarios: How trades can help Detroit get the players it needs

Lions NFL Draft big board: Top players to watch at edge, wide receiver and more

Lions mock draft reaction: How speedy Chop Robinson can help at edge

Lions combine buzz: Most intriguing defensive draft prospects, WR intel and more

The Athletic’s most recent mock drafts

April 19: Analytics mock draft
Austin Mock uses his projection model and the consensus big board to mock a center to the Lions in the first round.

April 17: Dane Brugler’s 7-round mock draft
The Athletic’s draft expert has the Lions trading out of the first round.

April 17: Lions mock draft mailbag
Analyzing 10 fan boards to see how they address Detroit’s needs.

April 8: Nick Baumgardner’s mock draft
Baumgardner likes Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson for the Lions at No. 29.

April 4: Bruce Feldman’s mock draft
Feldman shares coaching intel on each pick, including Iowa DB Cooper DeJean for the Lions at No. 29.

March 25: Ben Standig’s mock draft
Standig has the Raiders trading for the Lions’ pick at No. 29 for Nos. 44, 112 and a 2025 third-rounder with second-round potential. He then has Detroit selecting Alabama linebacker Chris Braswell at No. 44.

March 22: Three-round Lions mock draft
Colton Pouncy and Nick Baumgardner run through four scenarios for the Lions’ top-100 picks.

March 21: Beat writer mock draft 2.0
Pouncy also selects Powers-Johnson for the Lions at No. 29.

March 5: Dane Brugler’s post-combine mock draft
Brugler selects Penn State edge Chop Robinson for the Lions at No. 29.

Feb. 22: Beat writer mock draft 1.0
Pouncy selects Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry for the Lions at No. 29.

Lions’ last five top picks

2023: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, pick No. 12 — A surprising pick to many, Gibbs fit like a glove in Detroit’s offense. He proved to be the dynamic weapon in the run game and the passing attack he was billed as coming out of Alabama. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and got better as the year went on. At just 22 years old, the sky’s the limit for Gibbs.

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How Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta and other Lions rookies helped the team excel

2022: DE Aidan Hutchinson, pick No. 2 — A local product from the University of Michigan and Dearborn’s Divine Child, Hutchinson’s draft declaration coincided with the Lions’ need for an impact edge. After a solid rookie year, Hutchinson took a step forward this past season with double-digit sacks, recording 101 pressures along the way (second-most, per Pro Football Focus). He’s everything the Lions drafted him to be and is still improving. He’s a franchise cornerstone.

2021: OT Penei Sewell, pick No. 7 — The first draft pick of the Holmes-Campbell regime, Sewell has been the perfect representative for this current era of Lions. He’s about his business and has become the heart and soul of this team, leading the huddle in pregame warmups and being named a team captain at just 22 years old. He’s an old man now, though, at a grizzled 23.

2020: CB Jeff Okudah, pick No. 3 — Drafted to be a shutdown corner by the previous administration, Okudah’s career has been derailed by injury and inconsistent play. He missed major time as a rookie and then all but one game of his sophomore season. Following an unspectacular 2022 season, Okudah was traded to the Falcons for a fifth-round pick. This past season, Okudah hit free agency and signed a one-year deal with the Texans.

2019: TE T.J. Hockenson, pick No. 8 — Hockenson was a productive player during his Lions tenure, and remains one to this day. Due for an extension that would make him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the league, the Lions opted to trade him to the Vikings at the 2022 deadline for better draft capital. Hockenson recorded a career-high 95 receptions for 960 yards and five touchdowns with the Vikings this past season. The Lions, meanwhile, drafted his replacement Sam LaPorta last April. LaPorta had 86 receptions for 889 yards and 10 TDs as a rookie.

(Top photo of West Virginia center Zach Frazier: Ben Queen / USA Today)





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