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2022 NFL Draft: Top remaining players for the Lions on Day 2

Day 1 is in the books, so let’s take a look at the top remaining Day 2 prospects.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We knew it was going to be an interesting Day 1, but having the Detroit Lions trade up to 12th overall to take a wide receiver was certainly a shocking development in the football world. In terms of value, the Lions seemingly got the better end of the deal with the Vikings, and they were able to nail down a big position of need, getting a long-term receiver that can stretch the field and fill the “X” role that they’ve been looking for.

The big trade overshadowed the Lions’ first pick of the night, which was Michigan edge rusher, Aidan Hutchinson. This was a slam dunk pick at arguably their biggest position of need.

Heading into Day 2 of the draft, the Lions still have some pretty big needs to fill, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Let’s take a look at some of the top players remaining at their biggest positions of need.

Linebacker

1. Nakobe Dean
2. Chad Muma
3. Leo Chenal
4. Christian Harris
5. Channing Tindall
6. Troy Andersen
7. Damone Clark
8. Brian Asamoah

There are still a ton of options out there for the Lions if they decide to draft a linebacker at 46 or even 97th overall. Nakobe Dean was expected to be a fringe first-round pick, so if he’s still there at 46th overall then that would be a steal. I also really like Muma’s fit in the Lions’ scheme. To me, he’s a better fit than Dean, but not quite a better player just yet.

Leo Chenal is also an intriguing option that might be considered a reach at 46 and probably wouldn’t be there at 97 either. He’s an elite run defender that struggles in pass coverage, but tested extremely well at the combine.

Guys like Harris, Tindall, and Andersen are also in that late 2nd/early-to-mid 3rd round range and all viable options for the Lions. Clark is someone that would have gone much earlier in the draft if he wasn’t expected to miss all of next season due to undergoing spinal fusion surgery. If the Lions are willing to risk it, they can get a very good player in Clark, but they would have to wait until 2023 to see him play.

Safety

1. Jaquan Brisker
2. Jalen Pitre
3. Kerby Joseph
4. Bryan Cook
5. Nick Cross

Unfortunately, safety Lewis Cine went off the board with the 32nd overall pick that the Lions traded away, but there are still some very good options available. Brisker and Pitre are guys that I think might not last until the 46th pick, but if they do, then both of those guys would be fantastic value. Both Brisker and Pitre can play in Detroit’s split-zone scheme, with Pitre also having some flexibility to play in the slot and in blitz packages.

Joseph has a ton of experience as a deep safety and is more of a ball hawk than the other guys on this list, while Cook is another hard-hitting safety that I’m sure Dan Campbell would fall in love with.

Quarterback

1. Malik Willis
2. Matt Corral
3. Desmond Ridder
4. Sam Howell

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the first round is Malik Willis not being selected at all. Some wanted the Lions to take him when they had traded up to 12th, and it took until the 20th pick from the Steelers to take the first and only QB in the first round.

I’d expect the Lions would have to trade up to get Willis, but he’s fallen this far already, so maybe he makes it to 46... who knows. If not Willis, then perhaps the Lions look to Corral, who can also sling the ball pretty far.

Ridder is a QB that has gotten a ton of hype recently and is lauded for his high football IQ, but issues with his accuracy seem to be the biggest concern for him.

Best of the rest

EDGE David Ojabo
LB/EDGE Boye Mafe
EDGE Arnold Ebiketie
EDGE Nik Bonitto
EDGE Josh Paschal
DL Logan Hall
DL Travis Jones
WR Christian Watson
WR George Pickens
RB Kenneth Walker III
RB Breece Hall
TE Trey McBride
TE Jeremy Ruckert
CB Andrew Booth
CB Roger McCreary
CB Kyler Gordon
CB Cam Taylor-Britt