Okay, don’t take this article as a sign to give up on the Detroit Lions’ 2022 season. We’re just four games in, and a lot can happen between now and January.
That being said, the Lions’ 2023 draft could be an epic one. For the second year in a row, the Lions will have two first-round picks, and based on how the 2022 season has started, there’s a pretty darn good chance one of those picks is a lot better than it was last year.
Detroit holds their own first-round pick and the Los Angeles Rams’ first-round pick thanks to the trade of Matthew Stafford last year. While the Lions look like they’re probably going to be a better team this year—meaning they probably won’t be picking in the top two this year—the Rams also look like a very flawed team. Detroit got the 32nd pick from the Super Bowl champion Rams last year, but that is looking less and less likely to happen again based on the Rams’ play through four weeks.
So let’s take a closer look at where the Lions’ two picks currently stand according to Tankathon.com.
Note: Remember tiebreakers are decided by strength of schedule. Tankathon uses the full 17-game schedule to calculate strength of schedule, not just games played thus far.
Lions’ pick: Eight overall
The Lions are one of seven 1-3 teams in the NFL, with only one winless team (Texans, 0-3-1) ahead of them all in draft order. Surprisingly, of all the 1-3 teams the Lions have the toughest 17-game schedule—which goes against just about every strength of schedule metric we looked at this offseason. That’s because the Lions play (or have played) seven of the eight teams with one loss or less thus far (Packers, Vikings, Dolphins, Cowboys, Bills, Eagles, Giants). If those teams continue to play well, some of those games that looked winnable back in July may be tougher than we thought.
Rams’ pick: 16th overall
After a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, the Rams sit at 2-2—the record of every team in the NFC West.
To call the Rams’ play thus far underwhelming is too kind. Their two wins came against so-so teams (Falcons, Cardinals) and both were by just a single possession. They were absolutely manhandled by both the 49ers and Bills. Despite the 2-2 record, Los Angeles has been outscored by 24 this season, the second-worst point differential in the NFC.
Los Angeles’ offensive line is a mess, and Matthew Stafford isn’t handling it well, throwing a league-leading six interceptions. Overall, the Rams are averaging just 17.5 points per game.
As a result, they are currently out of a playoff spot, and it’s not completely out of the question that they eventually miss the postseason. The 49ers and their ridiculous defense will likely be their biggest challenge in the division, and we’ll have to wait and see how the NFC Wild Card situation plays out.