Detroit Lions beef up on defense in Kyle Meinke’s NFL Mock Draft 1.0

By W.G. Brady  - Senior News Desk Writer
5 Min Read
Detroit Lions

We are just a month and a half or so away from the 2022 NFL Draft and things are really getting interesting with the Detroit Lions, especially with the Jacksonville Jaguars electing to use the franchise tag on Cam Robinson.

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Does the Jaguars using the tag on Robinson mean they have decided to go with Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft or will they still go with an offensive lineman?

Well, Kyle Meinke of MLive just released his Mock Draft 1.0 and he has the Jaguars taking OT Evan Neal No. 1 overall and the Lions then selecting Hutchinson with the No. 2 overall pick.

With the No. 32 overall pick, Meinke has the Lions taking Georgia LB Nakobe Dean.

Here is some of what Meinke had to say about Hutchinson and Dean.

To see his full Mock Draft 1.0, please click here.

2. Detroit Lions: Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson

In 2019, I walked away from the combine figuring T.J. Hockenson was the favorite for Detroit. A year later, I walked away knowing Jeff Okudah was the favorite. This year, I walked away from Indianapolis believing Aidan Hutchinson would be the choice if he’s still on the board. And let’s be very frank, he might not still be on the board. Maybe the Jaguars really are bringing back Robinson so they can move on Hutchinson at the top of the draft. But if the Michigan pass rusher is there, I believe he’s the obvious pick over Kayvon Thibodeaux, Kyle Hamilton, Malik Willis and every other name people are tossing around.

This league is all about passers and pass rushers, and the Lions haven’t had a playmaking pass rusher in way, way too long. Short of finding a quarterback — which I don’t believe they will — adding a big-time pass rusher should be their top priority. And Hutchinson is the best this class has to offer. He set the Michigan single-season sack record last year (14), racked up 73 total pressures overall and had a killer pass-rush win rate of 25.4%. His motor also never turns off, which is important for a team that is trying to rebuild its culture as well as the roster. That’s why the Lions prized Penei Sewell in the top 10 last year, and it’s why Hutchinson — a physical player who just never stops comin’ — makes more sense than, say, Kayvon Thibodeaux.

32. Detroit Lions: Georgia LB Nakobe Dean

……..I couldn’t justify passing on one of the best playmaking linebackers in the country, especially with another pick lurking just two spots later and a bunch of really good receivers still on the board. Maybe I’ve just watched too much Lions football over the last decade, but it has been a long time — a very, very long time — since they had a playmaker at linebacker. No offense to Derrick Barnes, but I just don’t think he’s it either. And given the opportunity to add someone like Dean, a speedster who just led the best, most athletic defense in the country in tackles for loss (10.5) — and doing so after they already added the top edge rusher in the draft — well, that would transform a Lions defense that was trending up anyway under coordinator Aaron Glenn. Give Glenn new playmakers at the first and second level, plus whatever receiver they like at the top of the second round, and I think the Lions would be in good shape to compete for a wild-card spot in 2022.
Nation, would you be satisfied with these picks?

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