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Mailbag: How hard should Detroit Lions fans be drinking the Kool Aid?

It’s always the most optimistic around here after the NFL Draft. But is there something different about the 2022 Detroit Lions that warrants valid hope?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kelly Jordan / USA TODAY NETWORK

There is no time to be more optimistic as a Detroit Lions fan than after the NFL Draft. Since 2002, they’ve had 14 top-10 picks, and that can bring a lot of excitement and optimism to the team. This year, the Lions had two picks in the top 12—the first time that has happened since 1950. So, naturally, people are pretty excited.

But it feels a little different than typical post-draft hopium. We polled nearly 5,000 of you here at Pride of Detroit to give the team’s 2022 draft class a grade, and 75 percent of you gave them an A. That is, by far, the highest marks this team has received in at least six years.

The optimism isn’t just coming from Lions fans, though. Executives inside the NFL believe the Lions are drafting better than ever. And national media members are saying things like this:

“This team is going places and still has two first-rounders to think about for 2023. You are allowed to be excited about the future of the Lions.”

Naturally, some Lions fans—myself included—are very skeptical of national optimism. Detroit has been propped up as a potential surprise team many times over, only to be incredibly disappointed in the inevitable results.

But there is something about this that feels different. Detroit went through a pretty thorough rebuild—something they hadn’t committed to in a long time. There is a pretty clear vision in place, and Detroit’s coaching staff actually seems pretty capable across the board. The NFC North is full of turmoil, and the Lions’ schedule looks favorable.

So... just how good could this season be?

That’s one of the main topics on this week’s Spotify Live call-in show, where you can ask myself, Erik Schlitt and Ryan Mathews any question you deem fit. This week, a lot of Lions fans called in with high spirits, and it was hard to temper expectations, because, if we’re being honest, we’re feeling pretty high right now, too.

Here are some of the topics we discuss this week:

  • Is the NFC North for the taking this year?
  • How good can we expect Ben Johnson and the Lions' offense to be in his first year of coordinating?
  • Is Dan Campbell Coach of the Year odds (+2000) a good bet?
  • Could the defense take the Aaron Glenn Year 2 bump?
  • What are the weaknesses on this roster that should temper expectations in 2022?

If you want to join us for the next Spotify Live session, make sure you download the app and follow Jeremy Reisman (@PrideOfDetroit). Check the website and our Twitter account for announcements of when we will be live next. Typically it will be Saturday mornings. (Note: We will not be live this upcoming Saturday due to Lions’ rookie minicamp.)

You can listen to these Spotify Live sessions, along with our other podcast shows by subscribing to us on your favorite podcasting platform: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or iHeartRadio.