The Detroit Lions have been "connected to" Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons as an option for the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 draft, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.
Breer also noted the Lions have "generated buzz as a trade-down team."
The top of the draft is expected to be extremely quarterback-heavy, led by Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, while offensive playmakers like Kyle Pitts, Ja'Marr Chase and Devonta Smith are also considered top options. It could leave the Lions to select their favorite defensive player either with the seventh pick or possibly even later.
Defense should be a priority for Detroit in the draft after finishing last season dead last in both points and yards allowed in 2020.
Despite using the No. 3 overall pick on cornerback Jeff Okudah last year, the team gave up 38 passing touchdowns, the most in the NFL. The run defense wasn't much better, ranking 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed.
Adding Parsons, a versatile player who contributes in many areas defensively, could help turn things around.
Bleacher Report's Justis Mosqueda listed the Penn State product as both the best blitzer and best run-stopper in the class.
Though Parsons opted out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he was a star as a sophomore in 2019 with 109 tackles, including 14 for loss, and five sacks. He also turned heads at his pro day, reportedly running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds.
It represents a lot of upside for a player who could make an early impact in the NFL.