Approaching Christmas Day, here’s a fresh seven-round 2022 mock draft for the Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Lions fell out of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft with their shocking Week 15 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Turns out the Jacksonville Jaguars, maybe not so much the Houston Texans, were the more serious threat to take away the first overall pick.
If the draft were today, the Lions would have the No. 2 overall pick. The 2-12 Jaguars play the 3-11 New York Jets on Sunday, so if they win and the Lions lose to the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit would be 2-12-1 and get the No. 1 overall pick back.
No matter when they wind up going on the clock the first time, the Lions will be good position to add talent in April’s draft.
As Christmas Day approaches, here’s a fresh seven-round mock for the “Motor City Kitties.”
Note: Current draft pick order is via Tankathon, and I actually did this mock using Pro Football Network’s simulator.
Detroit Lions 2022 NFL Draft: Full 7-Round Mock
Even falling to No. 2 overall currently, the Lions will be able to pick from Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux or the former Wolverine Hutchinson. Hutchinson is also a Michigan native, so the local tie is a bit deeper and he spoke about that with ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently.
on going to the Lions: I think it’d be great, to be honest with you. I’d be the hometown hero times two, you know? Never leaving Michigan, really. I really think Dan Campbell seems like a real good guy to me. … I think they have a lot of heart on that team. You know, just a couple more pieces to the puzzle and I think they can be a really good team.”
But purely on talent, many like Hutchinson and see him as a better, more polished prospect than Thibodeaux. The Lions shouldn’t be on the clock long at No. 2 if they’re there, no matter who “falls” to them.
The Lions marrying themselves to Jared Goff through at least next season doesn’t look nearly as bad as it did several weeks ago. While they do have to find a quarterback of the future, they don’t have to reach for one in this draft and completely punting on the 2022 class of signal callers is possible.
But here, with the fifth-year option in mind, the Lions go with Willis. He his raw, but he may have the highest upside in this quarterback class. Over two seasons at Liberty, after transferring from Auburn, he had 47 passing touchdowns, 27 rushing scores and over 6,900 total yards. In his final college game, the LendingTree Bowl against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 18, he had five total touchdowns.
CBS Sports’ draft analysts Chris Trapasso and Ryan Wilson have each tabbed Willis to the Lions in a mock draft fairly recently (Trapasso via a trade up even). Wilson noted the idea of Willis sitting for a year behind Goff.
We have a second-round grade on Willis but — and stop us if you’ve heard this already (scroll up) — that doesn’t mean teams looking for a quarterback won’t take one 15 to 30 picks before perhaps they should. If the Lions do, in fact, target Willis here it has to be with the understanding that he’ll be a backup in ’22 while Jared Goff continues to hold down the job. Willis has all the tools you look for in an athletic, strong-armed QB but he’s also extremely raw. It would be reckless to throw him into the lineup as a rookie.
It might be a slight reach to take Willis with their second first-round pick. But the Lions can’t turn away from the potential.