Lions Mock Draft 4.0: Broder Opts For Culture Fit with Cornerback


As the Detroit Lions roster is currently constructed, it will be nearly impossible for anyone to predict who the Lions will select with the 29th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. What you can predict, however, is that general manager Brad Holmes will be certain that their investment uplifts the competition and overall maturity in the locker room. In my Mock Draft 4.0, the Lions go with a winning football player that has excelled right down the road in The Big House…

Pick 1 – Chicago Bears

Selection: QB Caleb Williams, USC

  • Analysis: It’s about as sure of a lock as you’ll get at number one, Caleb Williams will be the Bears’ quarterback in a month.

Pick 2 – Washington Commanders

Selection: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

  • Analysis: The week has been full of speculation that the Commanders will be pivoting to JJ McCarthy at pick number two, but I’m going to disregard that noise. Jayden Daniels to the Commanders feels right.

Pick 3 – New York Giants (via Patriots)

Selection: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

  • Analysis: Maye has the look of a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he needs time for the game to slow down. Fortunately, the Giants have time to give.

Pick 4 – Minnesota Vikings (via Cardinals)

Selection: QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan

  • Analysis: It almost seems like an arranged marriage, regardless of where the Vikings end up picking in the draft. A situation to sit behind Sam Darnold and toss the rock to Justin Jefferson is a nice landing spot for the 3rd winningest quarterback in college football history.

Pick 5 – Los Angeles Chargers

Selection: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

  • Analysis: Jim Harbaugh wants to build in the trenches, and Joe Alt is a monster. Put him on the opposite side of Rashawn Slater and Justin Herbert should certainly feel safe to pick apart defenses.

Pick 6 – New England Patriots (via Giants)

Selection: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

  • Analysis: Due to the rush to quarterbacks at the beginning of the draft, New England trades back and still snipes what some believe is the most talented football player in the draft. A quality start for new head coach Jerod Mayo.

Pick 7 – New Orleans Saints (via Titans)

Selection: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

  • Analysis: The Saints see an opportunity to snag an elite playmaker, and they pounce. Olave, Nabers, and Shaheed are a promising trio for Derek Carr, assuming Bruce Irvin isn’t in the building.

Pick 8 – Arizona Cardinals (via Falcons)

Selection: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

  • Analysis: After trading back to 11 with the Vikings, the Cardinals, strapped with extra draft capital, decide to pounce and move back up to snag a stud WR that quarterback Kyler Murray can count on.

Pick 9 – Chicago Bears

Selection: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas

  • Analysis: The Bears have the edge rushers, linebackers, and studs in the secondary, but they’re missing that relentless defensive tackle to disrupt opponents up the middle. Byron Murphy II falls right in their lap.

Pick 10 – New York Jets

Selection: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

  • Analysis: Fautanu’s unique athleticism can help Aaron Rodgers and the Jets from day one, regardless of which offensive line position they put him at, besides center.

Pick 11 – Atlanta Falcons (via Vikings)

Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

  • Analysis: Another team having taken advantage of the quarterback-heavy top of the first round, the Falcons move back and still get the most skilled edge rusher in the draft in Dallas Turner.

Pick 12 – Denver Broncos

Selection: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

  • Analysis: Verse could improve in the run game, but he’s right up there, neck and neck with Turner in terms of his savvy bag of pass-rushing skills.

Pick 13 – Las Vegas Raiders

Selection: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

  • Analysis: His athleticism and tenacity at the cornerback position seem like traits Antonio Pierce is looking to add as the Raiders build for the future.

Pick 14 – Tennessee Titans (via Saints)

Selection: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

  • Analysis: This pick is a direct answer to what’s brewing in the AFC South. All three teams (Texans, Colts, Jaguars) have impressive trios of wide receivers, and the Titans want to add more speed opposite L’Jarius Sneed.

Pick 15 – Indianapolis Colts

Selection: DB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

  • Analysis: Similar to the pick at 14, the Colts need more versatility in their secondary to match up with impressive wide receiver rooms in the AFC South.

Pick 16 – Seattle Seahawks

Selection: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

  • Analysis: If the Seahawks are comfortable with Latu’s medical history, this is a home run at pick 16, adding a polished pass rusher to a defense that needs more studs.

Pick 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

  • Analysis: A bulldozer to pave the way for Etienne and protect Trevor Lawrence is exactly what Jacksonville needs, and Powers-Johnson is their guy.

Pick 18 – Cincinnati Bengals

Selection: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

  • Analysis: If Bowers somehow falls out of the top ten, this is a no-brainer for the Bengals.

Pick 19 – Los Angeles Rams

Selection: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

  • Analysis: Newton is the Rams’ attempt to replace the irreplaceable (Aaron Donald).

Pick 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Selection: T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

  • Analysis: Quite possibly the safest offensive line pick in the draft. Fashanu can fit in just about any scheme or team in the NFL and thrive. With the Steelers, he can stay in state and block for Russell Wilson or Justin Fields.

Pick 21 – Miami Dolphins

Selection: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

  • Analysis: Fuaga can play tackle or guard and plays with aggression. The Dolphins could use his run blocking skills in front of Mostert and Achane.

Pick 22 – Philadelphia Eagles

Selection: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

  • Analysis: The Eagles desperately need secondary help, and Arnold falls right in their lap.

Pick 23 – Arizona Cardinals (via Vikings via Texans)

Selection: OL Graham Barton, Duke

  • Analysis: The Cardinals get Odunze at 8 and add the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft in Barton, who can slide in wherever the Cardinals need him to play the most.

Pick 24 – Dallas Cowboys

Selection: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

  • Analysis: The Cowboys have been eerily quiet in free agency and could use upgrades at many different positions, but Jerry Jones couldn’t help snagging Thomas Jr. and pairing him up with CeeDee Lamb.

Pick 25 – Green Bay Packers

Selection: T JC Latham, Alabama

  • Analysis: Latham is a massive tackle who has a ton of experience playing the highest level of college football at Alabama. He’s strong in the run and the pass game and would be a perfect addition to support quarterback Jordan Love.

Pick 26 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Selection: C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

  • Analysis: The Buccaneers could use some reinforcements on the interior of their offensive line, and Frazier would be a solid pick at 26.

Pick 27 – Arizona Cardinals

Selection: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

  • Analysis: Odunze, Barton, and now cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry feels like an A+ draft regardless of what happens next. Do the Cards have the money to afford three first-rounders? I’m not certain, but shoot, this is a big day for Arizona.

Pick 28 – Buffalo Bills

Selection: WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

  • Analysis: For the sake of not picking Tyler Nubin or another defensive player, I decided that the Bills should add another weapon opposite of Stefon Diggs. The 6-2, 205 lb veteran wide receiver from Texas can certainly help Josh Allen and the Bills move the ball down the field.

Pick 29 – Detroit Lions

Selection: CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

  • Analysis: Detroit’s selection of Michigan’s Mike Sainristil may surprise some, given the team’s current roster construction. However, his potential impact on the Lions should not be underestimated. Transitioning from wide receiver to cornerback, Sainristil has demonstrated remarkable adaptability and football IQ. He had six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns during the 2023 National Championship winning season, highlighting his ability to turn defense into offense. Despite concerns about his size (5-9, 185 lbs.), Sainristil’s aggressive tackling and run support dispel doubts about his physicality. Sainristil’s versatility in coverage schemes makes him a valuable asset for Detroit’s defense, capable of excelling in various roles. 
  • His fit in Dan Campbell’s team culture, emphasizing grit and resilience, is unmistakable. The Lions focus on drafting players who contribute to a winning culture aligns perfectly with selecting Sainristil, a player whose dedication and performance exceed his physical stature.

Pick 30 – Baltimore Ravens

Selection: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

  • Analysis: If anyone can unlock the talents of Chop Robinson, it’s John Harbaugh and the Ravens. This may be a terrifying thought for their AFC North foes.

Pick 31 – San Francisco 49ers

Selection: T Jordan Morgan, Arizona

  • Analysis: Morgan has the size, strength, and power to move defenders in the run game for Christian McCaffrey, and he’s solid in the pass game as well. With the ability to play tackle or guard, Kyle Shanahan opts to add Morgan to the ranks and help protect their offensive stars.

Pick 32 – Kansas City Chiefs

Selection: WR Roman Wilson, Michigan

  • Analysis: I’ve said in the past that it would be nearly impossible for me to pass on Ladd McConkey to the Chiefs at 32 if the Georgia wide receiver is on the board. But Flannel Sam sold me on the upside of Roman Wilson on our Wake Up Woodward Thursday morning show. Wilson is a gamer with reliable hands, exceptional route running, and clutch genes.

All Lions Draft Picks: 

  • Round 1, Pick 29: CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan
  • Round 2, Pick 61: TE Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas
  • *Round 4, Pick 105: EDGE Javon Solomon, Troy
  • *Round 4, Pick 110: C Beaux Limmer, Arkansas
  • Round 5, Pick 164: T Javon Foster, Missouri
  • Round 6, Pick 205: DT Zion Logue, Georgia
  • Round 7, Pick 249: EDGE Khalid Duke, Kansas State
*Trade Details: 
  • Lions receive: 
    • 2024 picks: 105 overall (round 4) + 110 overall (round 4)
    • 2025 picks: 4th round pick
  • Chargers receive: 
    • 2024 picks: 73 overall (round 3) + 201 overall (round 6)


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK