Pro Football Focus outlines perfect 2022 first round for Detroit Lions

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions are among the teams with multiple first-round picks this year, and Pro Football Focus has tabbed a “perfect” opening round for them.

After some notable trades, there are seven teams who have multiple first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions, with the No. 32 pick acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in the Matthew Stafford trade, are among them.

The Lions may be open to trading down from No. 2, and trading up from No. 32 is also an option if there’s someone they want to go get. But they are in a good position no matter what, with three of the first 34 picks and a lot of viable directions to go.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus has outlined the perfect first round for the teams with multiple first-round picks. The Lions, with the earliest first pick of the bunch, came up first.

Pick No. 2: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
Pick No. 32: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

Given this draft, No. 2 overall could actually be a strangely awkward spot for the Lions if the Jacksonville Jaguars select Aidan Hutchinson as expected. Kayvon Thibodeaux is the next best edge rusher on most draft boards but seems to have his stock sliding as we approach the draft. Kyle Hamilton already had the fact that he plays safety working against him, as well as relatively pedestrian 40-yard dash times at the combine, which got reportedly worse at Notre Dame’s pro day and may have torpedoed his chances of going this high.

At Pick No. 32, the Lions are arguably playing with house money. They could be well-positioned to grab a quarterback they like or reinforce a position such as cornerback or receiver.

Given the potential upside to hitting on a new quarterback, I think the Lions would be wise to roll the dice here on their favorite one remaining. Matt Corral brings a lot of upside, and his biggest question marks are to do with the RPO-heavy offense he played in rather than any real negatives he has shown. Corral’s Ole Miss offense featured RPOs on 40.2% of its plays. The NFL average is around 10%.

Kayvon Thibodeaux-Matt Corral the perfect first round for the Detroit Lions?

Thibodeaux’s stock is falling for non-football reasons put out there by “anonymous sources”. It has been easy to see that as a smoke screen, put out there by a team (or multiple teams) picking later in the top-10 or even further down than that, in the hopes Thibodeaux falls to them.

For whatever it’s worth, with others possibly on their radar from Oregon too, the Lions had a big contingent at Thibodeaux’s Pro Day on Friday.

If I were ranking this year’s incoming quarterbacks based on upside, Corral would come in third behind Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder. The former Ole Miss signal caller is definitely an option for the Lions in the late-first, early-second round area, where as mentioned pick they’ll go on the clock twice in the span of three picks. Getting the fifth-year option on a first-round pick may tip the scales that way in regard to a quarterback, Corral or whoever.

An edge rusher and a quarterback of the future is definitely how the Lions could come out of the first round on April 28. As for what or who is perfect, there’s a lot the Lions can’t control in that regard.

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