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Notes: NFL Draft analysts breaks down pros, cons of top 3 edge rushers

Kayvon Thibodeaux vs. Aidan Hutchinson vs. Travon Walker. Who is the best, and who is the best for the Detroit Lions?

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NFL: Scouting Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following the 2022 NFL draft class has been like being on a rollercoaster for a while now.

As recently as last year, it was a near consensus that University of Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux was going to be the first player taken in the April of 2022. Now, barring a major swing in what we have been hearing, that seems to be unlikely.

Once the Jacksonville Jaguars secured(?) the No. 1 overall pick, many assumed they would use that selection to shore up their offensive line, giving second year quarterback Trevor Lawrence a better chance at being a successful NFL quarterback. After the hellish rookie year he endured with Urban Meyer at the helm, making life easier for Lawrence should probably be priority number one. But after using the franchise tag for the second consecutive year on tackle Cam Robinson, there is a lot of speculation that University of Michigan product Aidan Hutchinson will be the first off the board.

Lastly, that leaves us with the latest monster to wear a University of Georgia uniform, Travon Walker. And while this article and many others like it will label all three players as edge rushers, it isn’t really that simple.

All three are talented players, there isn’t any doubting that. But exactly how talented, remains to be seen.

The Athletic’s Diante lee wrote a nice, in-depth article comparing the three defender.

“At the top of the conversation and most mock drafts is a trio of edge rushers with equal parts franchise player and “just-another-guy” potential: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux and Georgia’s Travon Walker”, Lee eloquently states in the article.

Hutchinson had an extremely productive year in Ann Arbor, and may have the deepest bag of pass rush moves of the three players being compared. Much has been made of his potential ‘fit’ with Detroit Lions’ coach Dan Campbell, but is his potential ceiling high enough to be taken first overall?

Thibodeaux has been a highly-touted prospect going back to his high school days in Southern California and for good reason. His first step and get off are truly elite and make him a tantalizing player to evaluate. However, fair or not, questions have been brought up about his motor.

Walker was a key cog in that dominant Georgia defense and absolutely crushed the combine in every feasible way. With that said, Georgia used him in a myriad of ways, including on the interior of the defense, which ultimately led to an unimpressive stat line at the end of his final season in Athens.

You can read Diante’s full thoughts on the trio here.

And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:

  • The Lions will host Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux for a top-30 visit. The fearless leader, Jeremy Reisman, has more for you here.

  • Aubrey Pleasant was down south at LSU’s pro day, and spent time working out highly touted cornerback prospect Derek Stingley Jr.

  • Personal homie of mine and friend of the program, Andy Isaac aka “Faturday Isaac” sat down with The Oakland Post’s Matthew Scheidel to discuss Detroit sports, food, and his ongoing battle with cancer.

  • Questionable Teez, a Detroit clothing brand, had Erik on their podcast to discuss the Lions and their plans for the 2022 NFL Draft. Be sure to check out their website because I just looked, and they have a Jamaal Williams tye-dye t shirt with an anime influence. I’m sold.

  • ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. calls Malik Willis ‘The most talented quarterback’ in this class. Scott Polacek of the Bleacher Report has more.