2023 has become pivotal offseason for the Detroit Lions, after finishing the 2022 season winning eight of their last 10 games. A successful draft class would certainly help push them to the top.
The Detroit Lions started 2022 much like they had the season prior, going 1-7 through their first 8 games, their lone victory coming against the Commanders in Week 2. Despite this, there were reasons to hope. Four of these losses came within four points and each of the four were against eventual playoff teams (Eagles, Vikings, Seahawks, and Dolphins). While their record seem to suggest otherwise, the Lions were showing they belonged.
The turning point came in their week 9 matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. It was a low-scoring affair, the Lions winning 15-9, but the defense held its own, intercepting Rodgers three times and holding him to a quarterback rating of just 53.5. The tide seemed to shift and confidence grew as the Lions would go on to win seven of their next nine games. After such a tumultuous start, it seemed the Lions had finally figured out how to win. They sent four offensive players to the Pro Bowl (Jared Goff, Frank Ragnow, Penei Sewell, and Amon-Ra St. Brown), the first time this has occurred since 1971.
The fantastic run to finish 2022 has only increased the pressure on this team to finally make the jump into playoff contention in 2023. Free agency has played out nicely, upgrading the secondary with the signings of safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and cornerbacks Cameron Sutton & Emmanuel Moseley. They added former Chicago Bear David Montgomery to help counter the loss of Jamaal Williams at running back. Prioritizing their own core of free agents, like Isaiah Buggs and Alex Anzalone, helped fill-out the remaining roster holes.
Now attention turns to the draft. The Detroit Lions hold a total of eight picks, including four in the first two rounds. Holding picks No. 6 and 18 in the first round gives them increased flexibility to move around, gain more draft capital, and target players they feel can help right away.