If it was not clear that the Detroit Lions needed to beef up in the edge rusher department, the team left no questions following the 2022 NFL Draft. The Lions snagged potentially the best player in the draft with the second-overall pick, Aidan Hutchinson, and then went with another edge in Josh Paschal in the second round before taking James Houston on Day Three.
This trio joins a room full with options like Romero Okwara, Charles Harris, Julian Okwara, and Austin Bryant, in addition to other linebackers who may see a shift in pass rushing duties as well. While this group has some solid potential, Detroit enters the year with a bit of uncertainty as to how it will all come together.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
How will the Lions edge rotation shake out by the end of 2022?
My answer: Regardless of how his rookie year plays out, Hutchinson is more or less cemented into a starting position — likely on the weak side — given the team’s draft capital and commitment to him. After that, though, it will really come down to how the rest of his peers perform throughout the season.
If healthy, Romeo Okwara has a great shot at the starting gig opposite Hutchinson, and his main competition should be Harris, who is coming off a strong 2021. Both Julian Okwara and Paschal are on the younger end but are worthy of rotational snaps, and my guess would be that the combination of these five players is getting the vast majority of the reps come December. For this defense to be successful, one of Romeo or Harris really need to show that they absolutely must be the second starter, but I am not convinced we will get there in 2022.