The 2022 NFL Playoffs continue on Monday, closing out the Super Wild Card round. Tonight’s matchup will feature the (5) Arizona Cardinals at (4) Los Angeles Rams at 8:15 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN. If you missed any of the previous installments from the Super Wild Card round, here’s a look at four prospects from Saturday's games and six from Sunday.
In this installment, we present another four potential 2022 free agents that the Detroit Lions should be watching during Monday’s game, with a little extra attention paid to the Rams due to the fact that Lions’ general manager Brad Holmes was their director of college scouting when each of the Rams’ players below were drafted or acquired.
Cardinals: Christian Kirk, WR (5-foot-11, 200)
Kirk has had a solid four years in the league, often splitting his starting role between the slot and on the outside. With the recent additions at receiver made by the Cardinals, Kirk saw his time in slot almost double this season, but his history shows he is more than capable of producing on the outside.
With a deep wide receiver free agency market, Kirk likely won’t be amongst the first wave of free agency deals, but that doesn’t mean is he won’t be in line to get paid. At just 25 years old and believed to be an ascending player, he should easily command WR2 money.
If Detroit targets him, he and Amon-Ra St. Brown would likely each rotate between the slot and the outside (both are plenty capable), with the Sun God being the preferred option inside.
Rams: Austin Corbett, RG (6-foot-4, 306)
Corbett, originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns to play center, was traded to the Rams in 2019 for just a fifth-round pick, and became their starting left guard after just a few weeks on the roster. In 2020, he started at right guard and has remained there since. As a starter at right guard, Corbett has earned overall grades of 73.4 and 69.6 with stellar marks as a run blocker
The Rams will be up against the cap next season, and according to Spotrac’s Market Value algorithm, Corbett is expected to land a four-year deal that averages $8.7 million a season—PFF’s free agency preview ($ubscription) believes the deal could be closer to $9.25 million.
If the Lions decide Halapoulivaati Vaitai isn’t worth his contract, they could be in the market for a new starting right guard and Corbett will be among the top options along the interior offensive line in this free agency cycle.
Rams: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE (6-foot-2, 253)
A foot injury cost the fifth-round pick his rookie season (2018), and in 2019 he was relegated to a minimal role as a situational pass rusher. Expectations and roles for Okoronkwo increased in 2020 and 2021, with his production also rising each season. Over the past two years, he has seen 436 snaps (266 as a pass rusher) and has registered 36 pressures, including four sacks (six over his career).
With the Lions, Okoronkwo would still likely be a pass-rushing specialist, but the EDGE is always a position where depth is needed, especially when it’s a potentially inexpensive option with above-average athleticism (8.7 RAS).
Rams: Darious Williams, CB (5-foot-9, 187)
Last offseason, Williams was a restricted free agent and was given a first round tender, all but guaranteeing he would stay in Los Angeles. Now, a year later, he’s due a much larger payday (likely in the $12-14 million per year range) and it’s going to be difficult for the Rams to retain him.
Adding an expensive corner may seem unrealistic with the Lions’ youth at corner, but there are several questions the Lions may have at the position. Will Jeff Okudah or Jerry Jacobs will be ready to return from injury for the regular season? Will Ifeatu Melifonwu be ready to step into a starting role if the others can’t, especially after missing most of his rookie season? Is Amani Oruwariye, who is in a contract year, part of their long-term plans?
If the Lions feel they need to fill a void, Williams could be at the top of Holmes’ wish list.