Detroit Lions: The perfect 3-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions, Kayvon Thibodeaux
(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images) /

I wanted to take some time between mock drafts to try and get a grip on what the Detroit Lions brass is looking to accomplish ahead of April 28th’s first-round selection.

When organizations build their draft board, they obviously look at and grade the talent of each player, but they also look at the positional need and positional value.  NFL positional value is key to building a juggernaut on the field, and this is something previous regimes seemed to overlook.  If you’re wondering about levels of positional value, a basic guide is as such; tier one is typically quarterback, left tackle, and edge rusher.

That is followed by cornerback, interior defensive linemen, linebacker, and finally, the third group typically consists of receivers, safeties, running backs, and interior offensive linemen.

Keeping that in mind, let’s jump into the latest version of this 2022 Detroit Lions 3-round NFL Mock Draft.

Generally, general managers are reluctant to tip their hand ahead of free agency of the draft, so things are usually just a crapshoot. Still, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell recently made an interesting comment.  Campbell mentioned that he believes a franchise can see ‘sustained success’ without possessing an elite quarterback.

Reading the tea leaves here, Campbell is already trying to prepare the Malik Willis supporters to brace for disappointment. The Detroit Lions currently sit with the no. 2 overall pick, and without a sure-bet top quarterback prospect in the class, I expect the Lions to look elsewhere for a franchise-altering prospect.

With the no. 2 overall pick, the Detroit Lions select Kayvon Thibodeaux.

The star edge rusher is set to meet with the Detroit Lions, among other teams slated to pick in the top-five this week.  On Tuesday, Kayvon Thibodeaux met with the Detroit Lions, who appeared to be a bit hypnotized by the talented playmaker during his Pro Day.

Thibodeaux and multiple members of Lions’ brass were seen smiling and laughing as they chatted with Thibodeaux following Oregon’s Pro Day. In the same photo, former Detroit Lions legend Chris Spielman maintained a stone-like look on his face watching from a distance.

Thibodeaux recorded 19 sacks and 122 tackles over three seasons with the Ducks.

I believe the Jacksonville Jaguars, who own the no. 1 overall pick, will be selecting Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson leaving Holmes and the Lions with a fascinating choice at no. 2.  The Jaguars recently used the franchise tag on their starting left tackle, Cam Robinson, which suggests they will be looking in a different direction at the draft and possibly hoping to strike a long-term deal with their proven tackle.

When it comes to the Lions for me, it comes down to Thibodeaux, Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson, Malik Willis, Kyle Hamilton, and of course, Hutchinson if he happens to be there.  For this exercise, I am removing Hutchinson leaving the others.

Let me be clear, for once I don’t dislike any of the prospects I just mentioned, and you could form a valid argument to select either of the four mentioned. Going back to the positional value guide I mentioned earlier, I am forgoing to pick Hamilton at no. 2, leaving me to choose between the three remaining edge-rushers. Willis has plenty to like, but he is a raw prospect. I understand that Jared Goff isn’t the long-term answer, but he showed just enough down the stretch last season to warrant another look in 2022 before coming to a conclusion on his future with the organization.

At this point, I am giving the slight edge to Thibodeaux.  There had been some concerns about how much the Ducks star loved football, but if Detroit can comfortably squash that notion during the interview process, he has a chance to be lethal playing opposite Romeo Okwara with some Charles Harris mixed in.

The Detroit Lions should be eager to replace Trey Flowers, and this is the perfect and possibly the most impactful pass-rusher in the class.

Change from version 2.0: Aidan Hutchinson.