With a disappointing 0-6 record this season, the Detroit Lions find themselves sitting in the driver’s seat for the top selection in the 2022 NFL draft. The Lions are littered with so many holes, and with two picks in the first round, they can fill those desperate needs by injecting some top talent into the organization.
Draft Wire editor Luke Easterling introduced his latest mock draft and hit both sides of the ball with familiar faces while filling in the gaps plaguing this team.
At No. 1 overall, Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux finds his seat as not only the best pass rusher in the 2022 class, but probably the best player overall, especially in what’s often regarded as a weak quarterback class. Even though he has missed some time this year, he proves to be a consistently dominant force when he is on the field. With his blend of speed, agility, bend, and athleticism, he would instantly upgrade not only the Lions’ pass rush but the defense as a whole.
With the No. 28 selection from the Rams, the Lions tag their potential franchise quarterback in North Carolina’s Sam Howell. It would not have been tough to find Howell not among the top selections in the early stages of the draft process, but with a rough start to his season, he has fallen out of love with most. He is not afraid to sling down the field with a cannon of an arm to make those throws while under pressure. He displays the grit and tenacity that would fill well into what Detroit is trying to build.
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However, when he lost most of his offensive talent last year, he hasn’t been able to elevate the talent around, which is the same issue Detroit is dealing with Jared Goff. Also, with the simplistic RPO offense North Carolina implements, it might be tough to gauge if Howell can run a more advanced offensive scheme.
Thibodeaux and Howell have been popular options for the Lions starving for answers to a point PFF has the same players slotted to Detroit in their latest mock draft. If the season continues the way it is, I expect Thibodeaux to Detroit on top this year as much as Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville was last year. It’ll be interesting to see if any quarterback emerges to take over the top spot, but now no one is jumping up and down as that must-have prospect that would warrant the top selection.