NFL Draft 2021: A viewer’s guide for Detroit Lions fans

Prepare to yell at your TV, a tradition like no other

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a pick by the Detroit Lions during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) (Ronald Martinez, 2018 Getty Images)

Welcome to the 2021 NFL Draft! Come on in, have a seat!

We’re glad you’re here, Detroit Lions fan. We know this is a big day for you, perhaps the Super Bowl or Christmas morning of Lions fan-hood, except for the fact that no one asked you for a wish list.

The Lions have many, many decisions to make in this year’s draft, holding the No. 7 pick in the first round -- for now. Who knows what will happen? Anything is possible.

As you find that dusty Barry Sanders jersey and prepare your draft night snack spread, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the draft as a Lions fan. (Be sure to play some Sam Spence while you read this, it’s required)

What is the NFL Draft?

Weird question! You clicked on the article, and you didn’t know?! That’s okay. I’ll explain.

The NFL Draft is where players from the NCAA get assigned to a professional NFL team. They have no choice on where to go (unless you’re Eli Manning, then you can throw a wrench).

All NFL teams will draft players through seven grueling rounds over three days, a yearly exercise to see how long Mel Kiper Jr. could possibly keep talking.

When is the NFL Draft?

This year, the NFL Draft will be hosted in Cleveland. Not sure why they’d want to visit Ohio, but some folks just have bad taste. It’s out of our control.

Three rounds, over three days:

  • Round 1: Thursday, April 29 (8 p.m. ET)
  • Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 30 (7 p.m. ET)
  • Rounds 4-7: Saturday, May 1 (12 p.m. ET)

When do the Lions pick?

Alright, alright, I’ll tell you! The Lions have the 7th pick in the first round, barring any trades. And then, they’ll be on the clock:

  • Round 2: No. 41
  • Round 3: No. 72
  • Round 3: No. 101 (from Rams)
  • Round 4: No. 112
  • Round 5: No. 153

So, if you’re timing this, I’d guess the Lions would be on the clock around 8:30 or so on Thursday night. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. And with trades, all of this could change. Yippee!

Who could the Lions draft?

What do I look like, the general manager?!

While I can’t tell you for sure who the Lions have on their war room draft board (my secret camera hidden in a teddy bear never made it past security), there are some obvious potential targets. Depending on what happens ahead of them with the QB shuffle, some of the players that could be there at 7 for Detroit include:

  • OT, Penei Sewell, Oregon: Regarded as the top offensive tackle in the draft, Sewell fits exactly what head coach Dan Campbell described as wanting on his team. The 6′5″, 331 pound junior would add some much-needed size to the Lions O-line. If Sewell falls to Detroit here, it would be surprising if they passed.
  • WR, DeVonta Smith, Alabama: The Lions need a wide receiver -- maybe two. But will they take one at 7? If they do, Smith could be one the best options. The ‘Bama senior is known for route running and speed. He can also return kicks. Smith will very likely be available here for Detroit, if they want him.
  • LB, Micah Parsons, Penn State: Remember when the Lions had good linebackers? Yeah, me neither. The roster has been flipped and the Lions need a new leader in the second line. Parsons is probably the best linebacker on the board, but it’s unclear how high he could go. The Lions could potentially move back a few picks and still get him, if they wanted. Either way, he’d fill a huge void on defense.

Other possibilities if they stay at 7:

  • WRs Ja’Marr Chase (LSU) and Jaylen Waddle (Alabama), though they aren’t likely going to be available. Ya never know! Lions reportedly considered moving up to No. 4 to draft Chase, so keep an eye on that.
  • OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern: The second-best tackle on the board, behind Sewell.
  • QB Justin Fields, Ohio State: If Fields falls to No. 7, the Lions will have a very, very interesting decision to make. We’ll know a bit more about Goff if they pass.

If you’re asking me? Lions will look to move back and draft some defense (maybe Parsons). Maybe. We’ll see.

How can you watch the NFL Draft?

This year’s draft will be live on the Bravo Network.

I’m kidding. It’s on the same channel as it is every year! ABC and ESPN. It’ll also be on NFL Network.

It’s also available to stream on ESPN and ABC apps, YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now and fuboTV.

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About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.