Aidan Hutchinson, Malik Willis, Kyle Hamilton, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jermain Johnson, Travon Walker, Evan Neal, and Ikem Ekwonu.
The players listed above have all been mocked to the Detroit Lions at some point in time since the 2021 season concluded and the odds are very good that one of those players will be a Lion if they hold on to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
One person who disagrees with that is former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum, who recently released a mock draft on ESPN.
In his mock, Tannenbaum has the Lions making a surprise pick by selecting CB Ahmad Gardner out of Cincinnati.
Here is what Tannenbaugh has to say about the pick.
If I’m Detroit, I’m crossing my fingers that Jacksonville goes another way, leaving Hutchinson for an easy win here at No. 2. That’s not how things happened, though. And yes, I know the Lions used the No. 3 overall pick on cornerback Jeff Okudah just two years ago, but I also know he has ended up on injured reserve in both of his pro seasons and has been limited to 10 total games. The Lions gave up the NFL’s third-best opponent QBR (53.4) last year and still need a corner. Gardner didn’t surrender more than 13 yards in a game or a single TD all season in 2021.
Then, with the No. 32 overall pick, Tannenbaum has the Lions rolling with QB Matt Corral out of Ole Miss.
Getting the fifth-year option is important for drafting a quarterback. The Ravens used the 32nd pick on Lamar Jackson in 2018, and it gave them an extra year on Jackson’s rookie deal. Detroit — after drafting Gardner earlier — can do the same with Corral. The Lions have Jared Goff under contract, so there’s no need to rush Corral into action, especially because he’s still working his way all the way back from an ankle injury. But he’s a quick prospect with a smooth release. I’m intrigued by the upside here.
Nation, how would you feel about the Lions walking out of the first round with Gardner and Corral?
Personally, I may break my television.