We heard from Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes, and others at the NFL Combine on Tuesday in what was the most we’ve heard from them since the end of the season. In a stark contrast to recent years, we got some pretty telling answers that might shed light into where the Lions are headed with their draft strategy.
Question of the day: Who do you think the Lions will draft after Tuesday’s press conferences?
My answer: Let’s just say I agree with the mock drafters at NFL Network. It’s Aidan Hutchinson season.
Tuesday’s comments were fairly insightful as to where the team’s priorities are. Campbell mentioned that the team would move towards more four down linemen looks on defense, which we saw the team trend towards as the season progressed in 2021. Looking forward to 2022, that may hint that the Detroit Lions want to prioritize talent at those down linemen positions. While Campbell did say it wouldn’t alter the team’s draft strategy, there remains a fairly glaring need for a number one EDGE.
Also notes that he doesn't think this shift will significantly impact how they draft.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) March 1, 2022
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson also spoke to the local media on site and made clear his priorities for the team heading into next season:
Ben Johnson spitting a lot of honest truth about the Lions offense. Talks about getting more explosive outside the numbers, better on 3rd downs and the red zone.— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) March 1, 2022
“Explosive outside the numbers,” in my opinion, is another word for USC wide receiver Drake London, former teammate of Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and one of the better pass catchers in this year’s draft class. This isn’t the first time the idea has been floated, with St. Brown hinting at it at the end of this past season:
Picks 32 and 34 might be the sweet spot if London were still available.
While there’s no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to the NFL draft, Tuesday’s remarks made it very clear where the team’s priorities at. Did it change your pick for the Lions come April?