Up until this weekend, it was unlikely to see the Lions at the top of any lists. But yet again Detroit has impressed another analyst with its 2022 NFL Draft class.
Instead of handing out letter grades like many outlets over the weekend, The Athletic’s Dan Brugler power ranked all 32 NFL teams’ draft classes from best to worst. He explains it came down to two categories: Where the player was taken and the quality of talent added to the club.
Brugler said selecting Aidan Hutchinson was a no-brainer, but his favorite pick was actually Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. The Lions jumped 20 spots up to grab him at 12.
“(He) has truly special speed and gives Detroit the big-play threat it has been missing since Calvin Johnson (with all due respect to Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and others),” Brugler writes.
Williams is still recovering from an ACL and may not see the field until mid-season, but Brugler noted that “the Lions aren’t in a position where they need to rush him back. I love the potential impact from Williams.”
Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriquez also got some love from Bruglar, tabbing him as the teams Day 3 pick who could surprise:
“Though he doesn’t have ideal size by NFL standards, his key-and-diagnose skills are outstanding with the instincts to put himself in position to make plays,” Brugler said. “With the Lions’ linebacker situation, Rodriguez will be a tough player to keep off the field as a rookie.”
Brugler is one of many in favor of the Lions’ draft haul. As Jeremy Reisman detailed over the weekend, the Lions’ picks ranked in the top five among all teams by PFF, EPSN, USA Today, and Sports Illustrated, to name a few.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- Apparently, the Lions turned in their card to pick Aidan Hutchinson so fast the NFL wasn’t happy. MMQB’s Albert Breer asked Dan Campbell about it.
I actually LOVED the optics of Detroit rushing the card on Hutchinson in. And I asked Dan Campbell about it for @theMMQB (https://t.co/T4bjKDRopQ) over the weekend. https://t.co/hu3WFXtZDg pic.twitter.com/8rwl2cpxLO— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 2, 2022
- “Whether it’s a prospect who was simply undervalued based on strength of opponent, injuries, off-field issues, or just a global evaluative whiff on behalf of the entire NFL, every year has more than its share of players who prove the league wrong when it comes to their value and impact.” TouchdownWire’s Doug Farrar lists 41 players he thinks were a steal in this year’s draft, including the two Lions selected on Day 2 of the draft.
- Sports network Overtime featured Jameson Williams in their NFL draft show, where he talked about the National Championship title game and the moment he tore his ACL. Starts at about the 3:30 mark.
- More encouraging footage of cornerback Jeff Okudah on his road to recovery.
I don’t think Jeff has stopped working out all offseason. Dude is living on that field. He probably has a tent out there. https://t.co/kvcJ0kE4sh— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) May 2, 2022
Day 223. God, I’m thankful for all of it. pic.twitter.com/XpKi1f96SO— Jeff Okudah (@jeffokudah) May 2, 2022
- “To wake up and be able to say I’m a Detroit Lion is an amazing feeling.” A great profile on Muskegon native Kalil Pimpleton who the Lions signed as a UDFA.
- Former Detroit Lion turned analyst Dan Orlovsky continues to support the new regime, calling their picks his most-liked draft: