While the Detroit Lions’ grasp on the first overall pick has loosened considerably after picking up their first win of the season on Sunday, they are still currently at the top of the draft order. And because of the struggle of quarterback Jared Goff this year, Detroit’s front office would be wise to learn everything they could possibly know about this year’s quarterback class in the 2022 NFL Draft.
No quarterback has made a clear case for himself as the No. 1 pick in the draft this year, although there are varying opinions on which passer should be the first off the board.
ESPN’s biggest draft experts—Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.—threw their names into the debate this week. Both agreed with the consensus opinion: there is no quarterback worthy of that first overall pick.
“No, there’s not,” Kiper wrote. “This class is much different from 2021, when quarterbacks went with the first three picks. I don’t see one who is a lock to be a high-level NFL starter; my highest-graded QB is at No. 20 overall on my new Big Board. Now, teams always overdraft quarterbacks, but there are still big questions about the top guys in this class.”
The Lions have a second first-round pick courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams via the Matthew Stafford trade. If the Rams make the playoffs—which seems highly likely considering their current 93 percent playoff odds—that pick will fall anywhere between 19 and 32.
That may be a more appropriate time for the Lions to pick a quarterback. Both Kiper and McShay listed their rankings of the top passer.
“The four signal-callers in contention to be the first off the board are Kenny Pickett (Pitt), Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Matt Corral (Ole Miss) and Malik Willis (Liberty),” Kiper said.
McShay favors the Pittsburgh quarterback above all.
“Yeah, it’s Pickett, who comes in at No. 15 in my new rankings,” McShay said. “For context, Mac Jones was No. 15 on my final 2021 board, and he was my fifth-ranked QB. There’s still time, but I just don’t see a top-10-caliber QB.”
You can read all of their thoughts on the upcoming draft, including a sleeper quarterback pick, how many passers they see going in the first round, and more right here ($).
- If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of the Lions organization, here’s an opportunity. They have a paid internship in the new media department:
- The fellas over at MLive have a new podcast aptly called the “Dungeon of Doom.” In their latest episode, they talk to former Lions guard Graham Glasgow, who talks about his time in Detroit, his favorite teammates, some of the issues he had with the team that caused him to move in free agency, and his thoughts on Aidan Hutchinson.
- If I’m being 100 percent honest, I have no idea what the “Total Points” metric is (it’s explained vaguely here), but at least one analytics site shows solid play from Lions rookie DT Levi Onwuzurike:
Levi Onwuzurike ranks 18th among 3-tech DTs based on @football_sis's Total Points metric. A strong rookie year for the Lions 2nd round pick. He's played 58% of his snaps at 3-tech.— Ryan McCrystal (@Ryan_McCrystal) December 8, 2021
Here's what I wrote about Lions rookie Onwuzurike after the draft.. https://t.co/FcPXuExWzC pic.twitter.com/N07XBKYXBx
- Justin Rogers of the Detroit News did a nice film breakdown ($) of everything that went right and wrong for the Lions offense against the Vikings.
- Jason Cabinda talked to the media today about how important his nomination for Walter Payton Man of the Year was to him. It’s easy to see why Cabinda earned these honors. He’s an impressive young man. Take a few minutes to watch this:
- Michigan edge defender Aidan Hutchinson—a Plymouth, MI native—said he did not grow up a Lions fan, but would still love to play for Detroit if they draft him.