The 2022 NFL draft is finally here, after months of build-up.
The Detroit Lions will be major players, holding five picks on the first two days: two first-round picks (Nos. 2, 32), the second pick in the second round (No. 34), and two third-round picks (Nos. 66, 97).
It’s a fascinating draft despite no quarterback being considered a surefire top pick. Six teams other than the Lions also have multiple first-round picks: the New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs).
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s draft.
[ Dave Birkett’s new mock draft: Lions take best talent available at No. 2 ]
What time is the NFL draft?
When: Round 1, 8 p.m. Thursday; Rounds 2-3, 7 p.m. Friday; Rounds 4-7, noon Saturday.
Where: Las Vegas.
TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network.
Radio: ESPN Radio.
>>Join our freep.com live updates during the draft.
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Which picks do the Lions have?
The Lions enter Thursday with eight of the 262 picks in the three-day, seven-round draft (full draft order here), including the second pick in Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 6.
Round 1: No. 2, No. 32 (from Los Angeles Rams).
Round 2: No. 34.
Round 3: No. 66, No. 97 (compensatory).
Round 4: None.
Round 5: No. 177 (compensatory).
Round 6: No. 181, No. 217 (compensatory).
Round 7: None.
Story lines to watch
The Lions have needs across the defense, most notably on the line and in the secondary. But don’t overlook linebacker later in the draft.
They also lack a long-term solution at quarterback, and though the receiver room is improved with the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown and the signing of DJ Chark, it is still underwhelming and in need of another playmaker. There are a boatload of intriguing pass catchers in this class.
Might the Lions use Nos. 32 and 34, or another combination, to move into the back end of the first round if a quarterback or receiver they love is on the board?
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If the Lions pass on a QB, they will be one of a number of teams looking at a 2023 draft class that has multiple highly rated passers, though it’s already setting up to be a competitive market.
Michiganders always like to support and rep those with ties to the state, and the draft is no different. So how high, and where, will prospects with local ties end up?
There are three Wolverines who could go in the first round in Hutchinson, safety Dax Hill and edge rusher David Ojabo, who ruptured the Achilles tendon in his left foot in March but still has a chance to go late in Round 1 or early in Round 2.
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III is one of the top-rated running backs, Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (Detroit King) could go in the top five, Western Michigan wideout Skky Moore is a top-50 talent as an undersized deep threat, Central Michigan offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann could go from Austria to a first-round pick and Ferris State offensive lineman Zein Obeid, who might be a priority undrafted free agent, escaped war-torn Lebanon to become an NFL prospect.
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Get prepped with our best stories
Jacksonville is on the clock and with no clear-cut favorite to go No. 1 pick, the Lions will have plenty of options that can be debated at No. 2. The favorites include a quartet of defensive lineman: Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan), Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon), Jermaine Johnson (Florida State) and Travon Walker (Georgia). Watch the video above featuring our Dave Birkett and Florida Times-Union Jaguars beat writer John Reid for more insight on the top of the draft.
Find more of our best stories below, and be sure to follow Birkett on Twitter for instant news and analysis on all things Lions and the draft.
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3 SCENARIOS: Lions’ early picks: How NFL draft could play out
SUPER 6: Lions’ pick at No. 2 should come down to these 6 players
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