Pro Football Network has a new four-round 2022 mock draft out, and it provided what turned out to be an interesting haul for the Detroit Lions.
Now that it’s full-on mock draft season, the variations could make your head spin already. The Detroit Lions are shaping up to be one of the more interesting teams in the 2022 draft, with so many possible needs and multiple options to entertain depending on how the board falls.
Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network has put out a four-round 2022 mock for January. The Lions don’t have a fourth-round pick in April’s draft right now, but they still have five picks in the first 100 selections to stock the cupboard with more young talent.
Let’s take a look at the picks Hodgkinson has for the Lions.
Detroit Lions get a little defensive in four-round mock
With the second overall pick, Hodgkinson has the Lions going the expected and practically no-brainer route–Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
People have begun to overthink Kayvon Thibodeaux as one of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. For most pass rushers, 12 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles would be a statistically satisfactory season. However, many have bemoaned the Oregon edge player’s lack of production this season compared to other prospects in this class.
Let’s clear up a few negative misconceptions. First, Thibodeaux wasn’t 100% healthy this season. Secondly, a lot of his work wasn’t reflected in the box score. The Oregon standout possesses superior athleticism, excellent length, and standout technical ability as a prospect. He’s as adept at stopping the run as he is at rushing the passer.
With their second first-round pick, No. 28 overall Hodgkinson has the Lions taking Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks. Burks is well-regarded, even as the No. 1 wide receiver in this draft class by some. Hodgkinson acknowledges the idea of taking a quarterback, but ultimately has Detroit passing to add a versatile wide receiver for Jared Goff.
As a result, they grab Arkansas WR Treylon Burks to pair with outstanding rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown. Burks is a do-it-all threat who has physicality at the catch point, but he also showcases deceptive athleticism as an after-the-catch weapon who can be used out of the backfield.
In the second and third rounds, with the No. 34 and No. 66 overall picks, Hodgkinson has the Lions doubling-up on former Nittany Lions with safety Jaquan Brisker and linebacker Brandon Smith out of Penn State. Brisker is regarded as an “in the box” safety, albeit with some underappreciated ability in coverage. Smith declared early for the draft after posting 81 total tackles, nine tackles for loss and five pass breakups in 2021. His versatility looks like a nice fit for the Lions.
Late in the third round, at No. 98 overall, Hodgkinson has Detroit taking UTSA cornerback Tariq Woolen. The former Road Runner is big (6-foot-3, 206 pounds) with elite physical tools beyond that, and the Lions coaches will get a close look at him down at the Senior Bowl.
Getting an edge rusher and a wide receiver in the first round, and two of the best at their position in this class, would check two significant boxes for the Lions. Followed by one of the top safeties in this class, a linebacker with upside and a cornerback who may get noticed big-time down in Mobile, it looks like it’d be a solid haul for general manager Brad Holmes in the first two days of the draft.