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With two Detroit Lions’ first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, the team that missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker last year can take that next step into the postseason. Below is a Lions mock draft for 2023, where we’ll go through Detroit’s five picks in the first two days of the draft. But before that, let’s drill down on the franchise’s two first-round picks, discuss the options, and then do the full three-round Detroit Lions 2023 mock draft.

Lions first-round picks: The options for Nos. 6 and 18

The extra Lions’ first-round picks come from the Matthew Stafford trade. With a 9-8 record in 2022, the team earned the No. 18 pick. Thanks to the Los Angeles Rams 5-12 record, though, the team also owns No. 6.

In the 2023 NFL Draft, the Lions have several needs to address. The team needs help at cornerback, defensive tackle, safety, linebacker, guard, and tight end. With the two Lions’ first-round picks in the top 20, you can likely throw out the non-premium positions of safety, linebacker, guard, and tight end.

That leaves Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon or Clemson defensive deckle Bryan Breese as the most likely non-quarterback picks at No. 6.

The most interesting thing about the Lions in this draft, though, is that the organization’s biggest long-term need is quarterback. Jared Goff will keep the job in 2023, but when else will Detroit have a chance to pick in the top six?

Any Detroit Lions 2023 mock draft will likely show you a defensive tackle or cornerback at No. 18. It’s whether the team goes for a quarterback at No. 6 that makes this such a fascinating choice for Dan Campbell and company.

One of the top three quarterbacks — Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Will Levis (Kentucky) — should be available when the Lions pick, and the No. 4 QB prospect, Anthony Richardson (Florida), will definitely be around.

With that in mind, let’s reveal five picks that make up a Lions mock draft in 2023.

Three-round Detroit Lions 2023 mock draft

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(L-R) Will Levis, Detroit Lions logo, Joey Proter Jr. | Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Nic Antaya/Getty Images; Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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In this three-round Detroit Lions 2023 mock draft, we’ll select at the spots the Lions currently own without any trades. That means the franchise’s picks at Nos. 18, 48, and 81, the Rams’ No. 6 pick, and the Minnesota Vikings No. 59 selection from the T.J. Hockenson trade.

Round 1, Pick 6: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

With the way Dan Campbell has the Lions trending, they won’t draft this high for quite a while. Also, while Jared Goff is the right guy for next season, he’s not the long-term solution. If Kentucky’s Will Levis is available, the Lions should pounce. He’s 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, and reminds many of Josh Allen. A redshirt NFL season behind Goff will serve him well, too.

Round 1, Pick 18: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Joey Porter Jr.’s father played linebacker in the NFL for 13 seasons and was one of the biggest intimidators of his generation. His son, the Penn State corner, has good size at 6-foot-2, 194-pounds, and is (unsurprisingly) tough for a CB. Campbell will love this second-generation NFL’er.

Round 2, Pick 48: Darrell Washington, TE, Georgia 

Detriot got rid of T.J. Hockenson this season, in part because he was a glorified big receiver, not an all-around tight end like his boss on the sideline was. Campbell wants size and blocking skills from his TE, along with WR ability. That’s why the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Bulldogs tight end is a perfect fit playing with the guy who used to be the blocking partner for guys like Jeremy Shockey and Jason Witten.  

Round 2, Pick 59: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

The Lions could lose Alex Anzalone in free agency, and even if they don’t, they could use an upgrade at that position. That’s why this Detroit Lions 2023 mock draft has the team picking 2022 Butkus Award winner Jack Campbell from Iowa. The 6-foot, 246-pound Hawkeyes LB has the sideline-to-sideline skills needed to dominate and all the leadership skills and intangibles to be the captain of an NFL defense.

Round 3, Pick 81: Gervon Dexter Sr., DT, Florida

The Lions nailed the draft last season with edge rushers, and this year they need to bulk up the middle of the defensive line. Florida Gators lineman Gervon Dexter Sr. is 6-foot-6, 318 pounds, and is incredibly athletic for his size. He needs to get coached up a bit, but if he does, Dexter could be an incredible weapon next to Aidan Hutchinson.