Now that the 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone, we can assess where teams stand entering the opening kickoff of the 2023 regular season.
In Detroit, the Lions are looking to build off last year’s 9-8 campaign that saw the franchise finish above .500 for the first time since going 9-7 in 2017. It was a season that gave hope to fans participating in Michigan sports betting.
Lions 2023 NFL Draft Class
- 1st round (12th pick): Jahmyr Gibbs (RB)
- 1st round (18th pick): Jack Campbell (LB)
- 2nd round (34th pick): Sam LaPorta (TE)
- 2nd round (45th pick): Brian Branch (DB)
- 3rd round (68th pick): Hendon Hooker (QB)
- 3rd round (96th pick): Brodric Martin (DT)
- 5th round (152nd pick): Colby Sorsdal (OL)
- 7th round (219th pick): Antoine Green (WR)
Post draft, Michigan sports betting apps list the Lions as a top 9 pick to win the Super Bowl at +2200 odds.
A Look at Lions Rookie Production
Between Aiden Hutchinson’s production and six of the Lions’ other seven picks notching at least 1 wAV apiece, the 2022 draft class provided immediate value.
If Detroit’s two first-rounders in 2023 can equal the production the Lions’ last three first-round picks have averaged, then the franchise should be in good shape to stay in the NFL top 10 in the season ahead.
Gibbs will likely be compared with the Lions’ last back to get picked, 2020 second rounder D’Andre Swift. If Gibbs can match or exceed Swift’s 20 wAV then the Lions will be in good shape going forward.
Campbell will look to match the production the team’s last first-round linebacker (Jarrad Davis in 2017) put up in the Motor City, with Davis notching 22 wAV with the franchise.
From there, much of Detroit’s overall draft class success will rest on the ability of lower round picks to contribute meaningfully on the field in the year ahead.
LaPorta will look to fill the void left by former first round tight end T.J. Hockenson in the Lions’ offense, with the former Detroit pass catcher accumulating 21 wAV in 57 games before being traded to Minnesota last November.
Re-Ranking 2022 NFL Draft Class
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Lions 2022 Draft Class Among Most Productive
A big reason why Detroit’s 2022 draft class cracked the top 10 in the NFL in terms of production was its top-to-bottom production.
Five of the team’s eight picks played at least 10 games, led by Hutchinson and Joseph (who played in 17 games apiece), while sixth-round linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez played in 16 games and tight end James Mitchell appeared in 14 contests.
Aside from Hooker, who is recovering from a knee injury and not expected to play much this year behind veteran quarterback Jared Goff, the other seven draftees could very well see ample playing time.
Both of Detroit’s first-round picks could be Week 1 starters, with Gibbs taking over for Swift and Campbell getting plugged in at linebacker immediately. Gibbs is tied for fifth at BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook for Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year odds at +900.
LaPorta could see snaps at tight end out of the gate, as could defensive back Brian Branch out of Alabama.
For now, all we can say is the Lions are well positioned to plug holes in their roster and make a run at an NFC North title in 2023.