NFL Draft News & Analysis

Detroit Lions 7-round mock draft: Zach Frazier, Bralen Trice should bolster Detroit's trenches

2T9NJRW November 25 2023: West Virginia Mountaineers offensive lineman Zach Frazier (54) snaps the ball during the 1st half the NCAA Football game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. Matthew Lynch/CSM (Credit Image: © Matthew Lynch/Cal Sport Media) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Zach Frazier improves the Detroit Lions‘ interior offensive line: Frazier's ability to create movement at the line of scrimmage should give Detroit an even more potent offensive line moving forward.

Bralen Trice should provide Aidan Hutchinson help: Trice's ability to create disruption should make Detroit's front even more difficult to handle in 2024 and beyond.

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As the 2024 NFL Draft nears, our seven-round team mock draft series continues with the Detroit Lions.

Round 1, Pick 29: WR Zach Frazier, West Virginia

Frazier has the perfect background for an interior offensive lineman, as he was a four-time state wrestling champion in high school. That built-in core strength is a massive boon to his work on the interior. His body control and forearm/grip strength allow him to latch on to defenders. His flexibility is impressive, and he can get low to consistently win with leverage at the snap, even on quarterback sneaks.

His arms are short, which is OK for a center, but he will lose cross-face reps against longer defensive linemen. He won’t blow defenders up with power at contact, but he does have the weight, power and technique to anchor well in pass protection.

Round 2, Pick 61: EDGE Bralen Trice, Washington

Trice is a “disruption is production” kind of player. His sack totals over the past two years are low compared to some of his peers, but his name is near the top of the pressures leaderboard. He has a frenetic pass-rush style, which has its pros and cons.

On one hand, he’s going 100% on every play. On the other, his hands can be erratic and misplaced because of it. He loves the physical parts of trench play, which is good since he’ll be one of the bigger edge rushers. Interestingly, most of his snaps are from a stand-up position, but he makes it work. His length is somewhat of an issue, and he won’t turn the corner like other edge rushers.

Round 3, Pick 73: CB Andru Phillips, Kentucky

Phillips did not gain much starting experience from his four years at Kentucky. He played in every game in 2022 but was a rotational player in the slot and on the outside. In 2023, he was a consistent starter at outside cornerback. He brings a physical brand of play to the position, and that lends itself well to press coverage, where he is most confident. He is a strong run defender from the slot and can set the edge, stop screens and make tackles. Phillips’ deficiencies are on display in off-coverage. His lack of starting experience shows in his spacing and timing for contact. He also must improve the fluidity and precision in his hip turns.

Round 5, Pick 164: WR Tahj Washington, USC

Washington is a smaller receiver who projects to a slot/special teams role at the next level. He grew up as a multi-sport athlete, playing soccer and football in high school while also running/jumping on the track team. He brings that all-around athletic ability to the football field in a variety of ways. USC lined him up in the backfield, in the slot and even as an H-back, at times. He is a strong hands catcher and was his best in that area in 2023. Despite his size, he does not have elite change-of-direction ability or vertical speed.

Round 6, Pick 201: CB Johnny Dixon, Penn State

Dixon was a starter since his second season at South Carolina. He transferred in 2021 to Penn State and was a consistent player, mostly as a wide cornerback but also in the slot. He is a tough evaluation because his athletic traits indicate he would have more success in the slot, boasting quick, controlled and balanced footwork with good stop-start ability and pass-rush quickness. But he lacks strength. He won’t be able to hold the edge or shed blocks, even with a full head of steam. That lack of strength is also a concern if projecting him to play on the outside. It makes more sense for him to be matched up against smaller receivers.

Round 6, Pick 205: LB Darius Muasau, UCLA

Muasau plays a style of linebacker every defensive coach will love, but he needs to add more strength and must anticipate with more regularity to make up for outlier measurables to be more than a special teamer.

Round 7, Pick 249: S Kenny Logan Jr. Kansas

Logan earned an 84.1 coverage grade and a 69.2 run-defense grade in 2023. That's good enough to get a chance to stick as a fourth safety and core special teams guy early in his career.

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