NFL Draft 2024: What the experts say the Lions could do in 1st round

Photo art: Kool-Aid McKinistry, Alabama, left, (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images), Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images), and Darius Robinson, Missouri (Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire v

The 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit is less than a week away with the Lions picking at the end of the first round for the first time in recent memory, at number 29 (LINK).

With a roster lacking many holes to fill, this plays right into General Manager Brad Holmes' strategy of best player available - one that he's already used to great success in the rebuilding of the franchise.

The one exception, however, might be in the defensive backfield. While some fans have targeted the cornerback position to strengthen as the team's biggest need (although trading for Carlton Davis III from Tamps helps) - it may have grown with the release of Cam Sutton suddenly this off-season due to a police investigation. 

"Cornerback was already a priority for Detroit prior to the release of Cam Sutton and it now feels like an early must-have in the draft," writes ESPN's Field Yates.

But not every expert is mocking the Lions to take that position - with many predicting a run on corners to begin in the late teens - meaning there may not be many options for the Lions at that spot. 

With that said, here is what experts are predicting the Lions to do:

Pro Football Focus: Kool-Aid McKinistry, CB, Alabama

"McKinstry might be the best cornerback in the class at matching and mirroring opposing receivers, and even if he’s not an elite athlete, he’s a very good one who held up well for years against SEC competition. He’d be a great fit in Aaron Glenn’s defense, and the team needs more at cornerback beyond Carlton Davis."

The Athletic: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

"Lions Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow turns 28 in May, and he’s been very banged up the last few years. Plus, Detroit’s in the market for a guard today. Powers-Johnson could be the team’s future center while filling an immediate need on the depth chart."

The Ringer: Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri

"Robinson (6 feet, 5 inches, 285 pounds) is a hulking, versatile defensive lineman with length and power. The former Missouri standout can play all along the line and comes replete with a Dan Campbell type of playing style — the type of player who ups the intensity of the guys around him and plays with his hair on fire at all times."

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr.: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

"Looking at this Lions roster, there aren't many holes to fill. I could make the case for them taking a depth interior offensive lineman, an edge rusher or a corner, but receiver also stands out, particularly one who could run vertical routes. Mitchell could be a fit. At 6-2, he ran a 4.34-second 40 at the combine, showing off impressive physical tools. You might consider this a luxury pick, but this roster is so talented that the Lions can afford to take Mitchell."

More Draft coverage:

ESPN's Field Yates: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

"He's springy with exceptional man coverage skills and on-ball production (seven interceptions the past two years). GM Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell would surely be drawn to DeJean's toughness and willingness as a tackler."

NBC Sports: Zach Frazier, OL, West Virginia

"The Lions have a great center in Frank Ragnow, but Frazier can slide right into guard after the departure of Jonah Jackson. The four-time state champion wrestler has great grip strength to move defenders off the ball in the run game." Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

"The Lions find their starting left tackle of the future here. With more and more speculation about Taylor Decker's future in Detroit being uncertain, Suamataia would be a great pick for today's Lions and the Lions of tomorrow, too. Equipped with high-end athletic ability and power at the point of attack, the 6-foot-5, 326-pound Suamataia made his presence known quite often at BYU."

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24: Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) celebrates with teammate Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Jack Campbell (31) after intercepting a pass and scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of the college football game