With the conclusion of the 2021 regular season, the Detroit Lions (3-13-1) now officially hold the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Let the debate between Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux begin (continue?).
The Lions entered Week 18 with an outside chance to securing the No. 1 overall pick, and when the Jacksonville Jaguars beat up on an surprisingly hapless Indianapolis Colts team, the top pick was in their grasp. Instead, the Lions seized their opportunity to earn victory over the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and divisional rival, Green Bay Packers, closing out their season on a positive note.
The Lions finished with a 3-3 record over the final six games of the regular season, with two of those wins coming over a team who was ranked as the No. 1 seed in the NFC at the time (the Arizona Cardinals were the other). Good times.
So did the Lions blow it by not tanking for the No. 1 pick? Meh, don’t sweat it. The draft isn’t about where you pick but who you pick and the last time the Lions held the No. 2 pick they were able to snag Ndamukong Suh in 2010. The time before that: 2007 when they were able to select Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Here’s a look at the top-15 which is now official:
- Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14)
- Detroit Lions (3-13-1)
- Houston Texans (4-13)
- New York Jets (4-13)
- New York Giants (4-13)
- Carolina Panthers (5-12)
- Giants via Chicago Bears (6-11)
- Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
- Denver Broncos (7-10)
- Jets via Seattle Seahawks (7-10)
- Wahington Football Team (7-10)
- Minnesota Vikings (8-9)
- Cleveland Browns (8-9)
- Baltimore Ravens (8-9)
- Philadelphia Eagles via Miami Dolphins (9-8)
The Lions also hold the Rams’ first round pick and after the results of Week 18, the Matthew Stafford led Los Angeles team are now the No. 4 seed in the NFC playoffs, meaning they will host the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. Their final draft position won’t be determined until they are eliminated from the playoffs, or after the conclusion of the Super Bowl.