The 2021 NFL season is officially in the books and each and every fan base in the NFL is now looking towards free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.
As far as the Detroit Lions go, they have been looking ahead for some time now as they finished the 2021 season 3-13-1 and did not sniff the playoffs.
On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Draft guru Todd McShay dropped his post-Super Bowl 2022 NFL Mock Draft and he presented what he calls a ‘slam-dunk’ scenario for the Lions.
Here is what McShay has the Lions doing in the first round.
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
This is a slam-dunk scenario for the Lions. They gave up 5.9 yards per play (29th) and 26.9 points per game (28th), opposing quarterbacks had the third-best QBR against them (53.4), and only two teams had fewer sacks than their 30 in 2021. Hutchinson — who is from Michigan and played his college ball less than an hour away from Detroit — is a relentless pass-rusher who had 14.0 sacks and 66 pressures last year. He can take over a game on defense, and Detroit needs more players like that, especially because its top pass-rusher in 2021 (Charles Harris, 7.5 sacks) is a free agent.
32. Detroit Lions (via LAR)
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Detroit already has Aidan Hutchinson from its first pick of Day 1. Now it can take advantage of the final pick with a fifth-year option attached to it and draft a quarterback — not unlike what the Ravens did with Lamar Jackson in 2018. Tough and competitive, Howell fits well with the Lions’ organization. He is super accurate hitting the deep rail shots, and he has a quick delivery and good touch. But his footwork needs work, and he will need to improve the anticipatory intermediate-level throws. Let Howell sit behind Jared Goff, whose dead money falls from $30.5 million in 2022 to $10 million in 2023 and $5 million in 2024. I’d like to see Howell link up with receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to jump-start the Lions’ passing attack, which had the league’s 25th-best Total QBR in 2021 (37.6).
Nation, would you be satisfied with this scenario for the Lions?