With the no. 66 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select Kyler Gordon.
If 2021 taught us anything, an NFL team can never have enough capable cornerbacks. In what has become a pass-driven league, teams will always find themselves searching for help in their secondary.
The Detroit Lions lost former no. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah in Week One of the season to a ruptured Achilles injury. The Lions also lost rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu for much of his rookie season, but the void allowed the organization to find a diamond in the rough.
Jerry Jacobs virtually came out of nowhere and excelled starting as an outside corner in his rookie season. When called upon, the Lions also saw positive contributions from A.J. Parker and even Will Harris (rare but the odd time). Harris has struggled to play as a starting safety but has been serviceable at times, working as a slot corner.
Late in the year, Detroit lost Amani Oruwariye, who has quickly grown into Detroit’s shutdown corner. Before being injured, Oruwariye hauled in six interceptions to go with an excellent QB rating of 36.0 in ’21, which is good for second in the NFL for players targeted 50 or more times.
Gordon is a 6-foot-0 corner that brings an abundance of versatility to any defense with his ability to play either inside or out. That alone is a very desirable trait for NFL defenses.
Gordon excels in man-to-man coverage and has the athletism to stick with the smaller, shifty slot receivers as well as the length and physical tools to work exclusively on the outside if needed. The Washington product made two interceptions along with defending a team-leading seven passes. Gordon also forced a fumble and recorded 45 total tackles.
Gordon’s 45 tackles ranked sixth on the Huskies’ defense. Adding a willing tackler to the cornerback room is a bonus and something that is sure to garner Aaron Glenn and Dan Campbell’s attention. If Gordon fails to become a starter in Week One, he can provide the defense with depth and contribute right away on special teams.
I really wanted to select Wan’Dale Robinson here, but after selecting London with the pick prior and the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown in 2021, the Detroit Lions need to prioritize other positions at this point in the draft.
Players passed on: Malik Willis, Darrian Beavers, Zach Charbonnet, Kyren Williams, Wan’Dale Robinson.