The Detroit Lions may be coming off a losing season, but there is hope in the Motor City. They found themselves entering the 2022 NFL Draft with multiple holes in their roster, but the one thing they do not lack is a charismatic coach in Dan Campbell. An interesting side note is wondering what Campbell was like in the war room.
The Lions already owned the second overall pick in the draft. They made an obvious selection with Aidan Hutchinson, and made a trade with the Minnesota Vikings to acquire the 12th overall pick. Having two first-round selections went a long way in helping Detroit shape its roster heading into the 2022 season.
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Best Pick: Jameson Williams (Round 1, Pick 12)
It is obvious that the Lions lacked a solid receiving core. Although Hutchinson may come across as their best pick, Williams has the potential to take the NFL by storm. If not for a torn ACL suffered in the National Championship, Williams likely would have found himself being the first receiver off the board. What makes this pick so intriguing is that he brings speed, explosive route-running, the ability to stretch the field, and un-teachable cuts. This is something Detroit has not seen since Calvin Johnson. Swapping with Minnesota will prove to be a great move by the Lions when Williams is 100 percent healthy.
For more on Williams, check out our scouting report on him.
Worst Pick: James Mitchell (Round 5, Pick 177)
The Lions used one of their compensatory picks on Mitchell out of Virginia Tech, a selection that may prove to be valuable in the coming years. However, out of the eight-player haul that the Lions picked from the draft, Mitchell is the one that stands out as the rawest with limited upside. He did not put up incredible numbers while in college and his blocking skills may get overpowered in the NFL. This pick won’t stand out now, but he will end up being a nice addition alongside T.J. Hockenson. This is one of those selections you want to give a couple of years and come back and revisit. It will be interesting to see what Jared Goff can do with his new weapons.
Sleeper Pick: Kerby Joseph (Round 3, Pick 97)
Detroit has had its struggles the last couple of years. However, when you look at a class like this, one starts to think they are heading in the right direction. The pick of Joseph gives off culture-changing vibes. Bringing in a guy who recorded five interceptions for the Illini this past season shows what this team is looking for. They are looking for guys who have a little attitude, a little swagger, and a shift in tempo. This new look Lions team will undeniably be able to frustrate quarterbacks a little bit more than last year, with plenty of opportunities to grow. Joseph has all the potential in the world, which makes this pick a major sleeper alert.
For more on Joseph, check out our scouting report on him.
Looking at a team who is coming off a rough 3-13-1 season, it’s obvious to think they are three to five years away from truly having a chance to contend. However, adding pieces like Hutchinson and Williams could speed the process up a little more than originally anticipated. Detroit was able to add major value in the mid-to-late rounds and continue to build off that strong first round. The league is better off when the NFC North is battling it out to the very end, so fans can only hope Campbell can get the team fired up heading into the new season.
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