If you were watching the broadcast of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday night, you may have noticed that the Detroit Lions were never on the proverbial clock with the second overall pick. Of course, they were technically on the clock as soon as the Jacksonville Jaguars turned in their card for Travon Walker, but by the time the television graphic turned over from Jaguars to the Lions, the pick was already in.
In fact, a backstage video of Michigan edge defender Aidan Hutchinson revealed that he received the call from the Lions organization before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even announced the first overall pick in the NFL draft.
“Obviously, had no idea if Aidan was going to be there or not,” Lions general manager Brad Holmes said after Day 1 of the draft. “But sometimes it falls how you think. It’s unpredictable. As you guys know just as us, it was a very unpredictable first half of the Draft. It was a very unique year. Obviously, thrilled that he was there and available to us in the end.”
Of course, the Lions could have tried to wait longer to see a trade market developed for their pick, but without a can’t-miss quarterback available and several offensive tackle options still on the board, there was no urgency for a team to trade up. The first (and only) quarterback was selected 20th overall. And every offensive tackle in this class made it to Pick 6.
This isn’t the first time Holmes has rushed up the card. Last year, the Lions wasted no time in taking Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell with the seventh overall pick. In fact, Holmes admitted later that he rushed the pick so fast that he was in violation “because I did it a little bit too early.”
In the end, it’s clear the Lions got the guy they wanted, and there was no reason to wait.