Currently, the Detroit Lions are sitting on the third overall pick. With Joe Burrow and Chase Young expected to go first and second, let’s take a closer look at the odds on who will be picked third overall.
NFL Draft 3rd Pick Odds & Who the Experts Are Picking
CB Jeff Okudah drafted #3 +125
After parting ways with veteran Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay during the free-agent signing period, the Lions could use the third overall pick to replace him and Okudah undeniably has the look of a player with future pro Bowl potential. Nabbing the shutdown corner would allow Detroit to address a pass defense that ranked dead last against the pass a year ago.
CB Jeff Okudah not drafted #3 -155
There are also a couple of good reasons why the Lions shouldn’t pick Okudah here. Detroit could probably trade down from this spot and still land Okudah inside the top 10 picks. The Lions also need help at the linebacker position and they probably need to start looking for their next franchise quarterback as Matthew Stafford ages. I say the chances of the Lions keeping the pick and using it on Okudah are fairly high.
QB Tua Tagovailoa drafted #3 +230
While there haven’t been many predictions of Detroit going for the former Alabama star with the third overall pick, there are plenty of positives if they do. Tagovailoa would give them the young quarterback they’ll need in order to move on from Matt Stafford which they’ll be doing in a couple of seasons at most. Tagovailoa looks like a can’t-miss prospect, and they’d take no PR hits because of the selection.
QB Tua Tagovailoa not drafted #3 -290
If the Lions do take Tua here, they’ll be forsaking the chance to pick up another couple of picks via a trade that could help them improve their roster faster than keeping the pick would. Also, with such an uninspiring offensive line, it certainly wouldn’t make any sense to put a young signal-caller behind them. I don’t see Detroit going for Tua here at all!
The teams that should trade up to get Tagovailoa here are the Dolphins and Chargers.
ILB Isaiah Simmons drafted #3 +750
Picking gifted former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons here certainly wouldn’t be the worst move ever. The Lions, as previously mentioned, were completely horrific on defense a year ago in finishing 26th in points allowed (26.4 ppg) and they need help at all three levels. Simmons is a sideline-to-sideline play-maker that would cover a lot of the Lions’ defensive weaknesses.
ILB Isaiah Simmons not drafted #3 -1370
The downside to choosing Simmons here is that the Lions have a more pressing need in the secondary and Simmons doesn’t address those needs playing linebacker, although he would start right away. The team that should trade up for Simmons are the New York Giants, although I suspect they’ll go for an offensive lineman. Philadelphia could also use some help at linebacker, but they have more pressing needs at wide receiver.
EDGE Chase Young drafted #3 +875
The pros to getting the seriously gifted Chase Young at No. 3 are obvious. He’s a generational talent at defensive end and he could wreak havoc on opponents passing and rushing attacks which would help the Lions’ defense on two fronts.
EDGE Chase Young not drafted #3 -1560
The thought against picking Young here is also evident. First off, he’ll probably be gone by the time the third pick rolls around. His effectiveness could also take a hit with no ‘real’ help on the defensive line and Young can’t cover receivers downfield, which is where the Lions are most vulnerable right now.
The teams that should try to go after Young if he falls this far are the Redskins if they trade back one spot, Carolina who could move up from No. 7 and an Atlanta team at No. 16, that needs help on the defensive side of the ball in a big way.
DL Derrick Brown drafted #3 +1300
Former Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is seriously gifted and runs faster than both, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. His presence along the defensive line would help shore up a run defense that finished 21st in yards allowed per game (115.9 ypg) while providing some push up the middle against opposing quarterbacks.
DL Derrick Brown not drafted #3 -2575
Unfortunately, Brown won’t be able to help defend passes in the second and third tiers of the defense and he just wouldn’t have much quality help on the defensive line. Carolina, Atlanta or even Baltimore could use Brown’s services.
Okudah/Tua/Young/Simmons/Brown #3 -1370
Since I’ve already mentioned all of the aforementioned players in this draft odds wager, it’s time to find out just how possible it is that Detroit could pick another player with the third overall pick. It’s possible that Detroit could favor former Oregon star Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa or maybe even, former Utah State star Jordan Love, although I think that would be a huge stretch. Three offensive linemen, Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirffs and Jedrick Wills, are also looking like top prospects that Detroit could potentially go after if they decide shoring up their offensive line is a bigger are of need than anyone else thinks.
Any other player drafted third +750
The ‘cons’ against picking any player besides one of the aforementioned five players would be a catastrophic fan backlash that takes a backseat only to more years of losing if one of the four players listed in this wager goes n to have franchise-changing success. Just think, Chicago blew it by passing on both, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in favor of the mediocre Mitch Trubisky. If the Lions pass on Tua and take Herbert, or any other player that is not deemed top three worthy, it could set them back for years to come.
The team that needs help at the corners that should probably trade up if they really want Okudah is the Arizona Cardinals. The team the experts at CBS predicted Detroit will nab Okudah at No. 3. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay likes the Lions to keep the pick and get Okudah here while colleague Mel Kiper likes Okudah here in his latest mock draft!