Detroit Lions: Here’s hoping ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft is wrong

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Well, it’s the mock draft season, and we’ve got the first of many experts not seeing eye to eye on what the Detroit Lions will be doing in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Two draft gurus released their most recent NFL mock draft this past Wednesday, and they are VERY different. The difference in opinion by these folks who are indeed plugged in around the league suggests that no one has a clue what the Detroit Lions are expected to do.

General manager Brad Holmes is coming off an excellent inaugural draft that saw the Lions get positive production out of Amon-Ra St. Brown, Alim McNeill, and a budding star in Penei Sewell.

Last year’s draft, like every, also left us with plenty of question marks surrounding players like Levi Onwuzurike and Derrick Barnes. I highlight the players selected in the first four rounds; anyone selected after the fourth round that contributes in any positive way, even just on special teams, is a bonus.

Here’s hoping the Detroit Lions avoid Mel Kiper’s prediction.

In the latest edition of ESPN’s Mel Kiper‘s mock draft, the expert has the Detroit Lions taking an edge rusher second overall, followed by a quarterback at the backend of the first round. In Kiper’s mock draft, he’s got the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson first overall, with the Detroit Lions selecting Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.

I agree with Kiper suggesting the Detroit Lions will be looking to secure a pass-rusher second overall. Still, I expect the Jaguars to select offensive tackle Evan Neal rather than a pass-rusher leaving the Detroit Lions to have their choice of Hutchinson or Thibodeaux, and I expect Holmes to stay local with this choice. Also, if the Jaguars elect to pick a pass-rusher instead of Neal, who is to say they wouldn’t prefer Thibodeaux over Hutchinson? There is a 50/50 chance in my eyes.

I feel that Hutchinson fits Dan Campbell’s vision perfectly. The Michigan star is coming off a 14 sack season, and he plays the run nearly as effectively as he rushes the passer. Hutchinson is also versatile and can be moved around within the defense and be an effective rusher from either side.

Kiper has the Detroit Lions selecting quarterback Sam Howell with the second first-round pick. Earlier this week, I explored the idea of the Lions selecting a quarterback with this selection but have mentioned numerous times that I’d prefer to draft an elite playmaker like Drake London,  Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson, or Chris Olave.

The Detroit Lions should follow Dan Brugler’s advice.

In comparison, Dane Brugler of The Athletic has the Detroit Lions taking Aidan Hutchinson second overall. Brugler, similar to me, feel like the Jaguars will be drafting an offensive tackle, but he’s got them taking Ikem Ekwonu rather than Neal.

Brugler has the Detroit Lions taking a dynamic playmaker in Chris Olave out of Ohio State with the second first-round pick.

To me, this is the perfect scenario for the Detroit Lions. St. Brown emerged as a tremendous weapon for the Lions as the year wore on, but he needs help heading into 2022. I prefer Drake London if he’s available here. Still, I’d be ok with any receiving threat understanding it’s a significant weakness, plus the organization would be wise to surround a middle-of-the-road quarterback like Jared Goff with receivers that have playmaking ability.

dark. Next. The perfect 3-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

As a bonus prediction, Brugler suggests that the Detroit Lions will be drafting cornerback Roger McCreary with the no. 34 pick early in the second round. I’d like to see the Lions take safety or linebacker here and address the cornerback position in a round or two.