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2022 Detroit Lions mock draft roundup returns!

Identifying the players that have been mocked to the Lions over the past week.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions were officially eliminated from the playoffs last weekend, and while there are still four games remaining in the season, some of you have already turned your attention to the 2022 NFL draft. For those draft enthusiasts, I feel like it’s a good time to start back up our weekly mock draft roundup series.

If you’re not familiar, each edition of the roundup will feature an overview of the most popular mock drafting publications from the previous week. The focus, of course, is centered on who the analyst pairs with the Lions, and selected reasonings why.

The article will be split into sections. One for each of the Lions' two first-round picks, and if a mock carries over into Round 2 or beyond, I will also include the Lions pick, which is typically No. 33 overall. Additionally, I share some of my thoughts about patterns, players, and/or themes I see occurring.

Alright, let’s take a look at who was projected to the Lions over this past week.

Lions pick No. 1

Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Currently being mocked by Kyle Crabbs (The Draft Network), Todd McShay (ESPN), Austin Gayle (PFF), Luke Easterling (Draft Wire), Ian Cummings (Pro Football Network), Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports), Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports), Shane Hallam (Draft Countdown), Jason McIntyre (FOX Sports)

Crabbs: “Welcome to the top spot, Mr. Hutchinson. The runner up to the 2021 Heisman Trophy can certainly keep banking on ‘outstanding’ as an adjective to describe his game. Hutchinson is a high-floor, high-ceiling defender with a plethora of rush moves and surreal power to collapse angles and soften his path to the quarterback. And you’ve seen a steady stream of acceptance from the draft space that this might be the right guy to be drafting at No. 1 overall. I happen to agree, largely because I’m comfortable in what I’m getting with the pick. Hutchinson, barring injury, feels like a low variance prospect.

“Detroit needs big hits in the draft to turn this thing around. I can’t think of a better way to start than with a local kid from the state of Michigan who plays the brand of football that head coach Dan Campbell will love.”

Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Currently being mocked by Josh Edwards (CBS Sports), Cam Mellor (Pro Football Network), Adam Beasley (Pro Football Network), Oliver Hodgkinson (Pro Football Network)

Edwards: “There was a report that came out this week suggesting the Lions would take Thibodeaux if the event were held today and I agree with that line of thinking. Thibodeaux has more upside than other options in this class. I do not think he is Myles Garrett or the Bosas, but I believe he is on that next rung down on the ladder.”

Erik’s thoughts

With less than a month remaining in the regular season, two things feel fairly certain to happen. First, the Lions will be picking in the top two, and second, they’ll probably end up with one of these two players.

Rams pick No. 24

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Currently being mocked by Adam Beasley (Pro Football Network)

Beasley:The Lions played this perfectly. A quarterback at No. 1 would have been a mistake. A signal-caller at No. 24 — and Kenny Pickett in particular — is a great value. Jared Goff’s time as Detroit’s QB1 is almost over, Lions fans.”

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Currently being mocked by Ian Cummings (Pro Football Network)

Cummings: “The Lions get the best of both worlds. Hutchinson sets the tone on defense, while Corral gives Detroit a high-upside passer to groom under Goff. The physical traits are there with Corral. He’s athletic and high-energy as a runner. As a passer, he has a crisp, elastic arm with easy velocity. Corral needs to improve as a processor and field manipulator, but some time behind Goff will help with that.”

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Currently being mocked by Austin Gayle (PFF), Luke Easterling (Draft Wire), Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports)

Gayle:Detroit is fortunate to have two first-round picks with the 2022 quarterback class much weaker relative to recent years. After adding Hutchinson with the No. 1 overall pick, the Lions can add Liberty’s Malik Willis with their later first-round pick in an effort to upgrade a quarterback room in obvious need for an upgrade. Willis’ 2021 campaign was a bit of a roller coaster but also extremely hard to evaluate, given the disaster that was the Liberty offensive line. However, he still earned a 90.9 PFF grade and flashed a lot of high-end traits that will play at the next level if given a fair shot to develop with even an average supporting cast.”

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Currently being mocked by Todd McShay (ESPN), Shane Hallam (Draft Countdown), Jason McIntyre (FOX Sports)

McIntyre: After a dominant junior year, Howell was projected as a Heisman contender and even a potential top pick in the draft. Now, even though he started for three years for the Tar Heels, he’s still only 21, so he could begin his NFL career as Jared Goff’s backup.”

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Currently being mocked by Josh Edwards (CBS Sports), Oliver Hodgkinson (Pro Football Network)

Edwards: “Amon-Ra St. Brown has shown a lot of promise in recent weeks, but Detroit needs to add a potential alpha receiver. Olave is a selfless player and polished route-runner. There are still questions about the quarterback, but the team would have high level talent along the offensive line in addition to wide receiver, running back and tight end.”

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Currently being mocked by Kyle Crabbs (The Draft Network), Cam Mellor (Pro Football Network)

Crabbs: “I was apprehensive to Treylon Burks as a prospect to start the season, but he’s done all he can in 2021. As a result, I’m now ‘in’. 81 touches, 1,235 yards from scrimmage, and 12 touchdowns in 2021 will do that for a 6-foot-3, 225-pound wide receiver who won foot races in the open field against the likes of Alabama for explosive scores. For a team that wants to maintain a physical, tough presence in Detroit, Burks feels like the right fit on an offense that desperately needs wide receiver talent.”

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Currently being mocked Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)

Wilson: “By the time we get to the actual draft, we’ll much more clarity on what the Lions’ QB plans might look like. For now, there’s not a quarterback worth taking first overall, and there likely won’t be a worthy one on the board at this point, either. So instead, Detroit adds top-flight wideout Dotson. He was electric this season for the Nittany Lions, and he threatens the defense at all three levels. He’s not going to break a lot of tackles but that assumes defenders are able to get their hands on him; he’s as fast as he is elusive, and a legit home run threat every time he touches the ball.”

Lions pick No. 33

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Currently being mocked by Oliver Hodgkinson (Pro Football Network)

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Currently being mocked by Ian Cummings (Pro Football Network)

George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Currently being mocked by Shane Hallam (Draft Countdown)

Erik’s thoughts

There is a definite theme occurring with the Lions and their picks at No. 24 and No. 33. No one appears to believe Jared Goff is part of the future in Detroit, and value meets need at receiver.

The discrepancy between quarterback rankings continues to be stark. Pickett and Corral have seen their stock rise and are gone by pick No. 24 in most mocks, but they each found their way to Detroit in a pair of Pro Football Network mocks. Willis and Howell see more analysts peg them at No. 24, but Howell also slides to No. 33 and appears to be consistently the lowest-ranked of the top quarterbacks.