81st overall: Chandler Zavala, OG, NC State
The Detroit Lions have built an impressive offensive line, anchored by Frank Ragnow and Penei Sewell. But if the Lions wish to take the next step, addressing the guard position would be a smart move. Chandler Zavala didn’t receive an invite to the combine, but his tape oozes potential and shows an under-the-radar player who could provide an impact early. There is some slight risk due to some previous injury history, but Zavala possesses the upside and character worth building on. It helps the Lions have made him an official 30 visit.
152nd overall: Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa St.
The Detroit Lions have done a nice job building the supporting cast around Goff. With the ascension of budding star Amon-Ra St. Brown and former first-round pick Jameson Williams continuing to get healthier, the wide receiver position may not appear as a need. But finding depth will be key to the Lions playoff hunt in 2023. Xavier Hutchinson plays with an aggressive and competitive demeanor, with the tools to continue developing as a route-runner. His average ball skills and athleticism will likely see him slip down draft boards, but he is a player who has proven to get better year after year.
183rd overall (from Broncos): Jose Ramirez, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
At this stage in the draft, it’s all about finding special teams contributors that possesses traits worth developing. While Ramirez is inconsistent as a pass rusher and lacks the ability to anchor the edge, he plays with unyielding tenacity and has flashed natural pass rushing talent. Both traits may be enough for the Detroit Lions to look at developing him for further contribution down the road.
194th overall: Mekhi Garner, DB, LSU
Again, the Detroit Lions focus on special teams contributors with appealing traits. Mekhi Garner lacks the necessary footwork and balance to be an immediate contributor. Combine that with a lack of production (no interceptions the last two years) and it’s fairly easy to see what his role will consist of early. However, Garner is a big, physical cornerback that has thrived in press situations. It’s going to take a lot of development, or even a position switch to safety, but there’s enough for the team to work with.