Projecting the 2022 Detroit Lions starting defense

The 2022 NFL Draft is officially in the books and the Detroit Lions used six of their eight picks to improve the defensive side of the ball.

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With some important rookies being added to the mix, here is what I believe the Lions starting defense will look like in Week 1 of the 2022 regular season.

As you can see, I have two rookies starting for the Lions in Game 1 (Aidan Hutchinson and Kerby Joseph)

EDGE – Aidan Hutchinson

EDGE – Charles Harris

DL – Alim McNeil

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DL – Michael Brockers

LB – Alex Anzalone

LB – Derrick Barnes

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CB – Jeff Okudah

CB – Amani Oruwariye

CB – A.J. Parker

S – Tracy Walker

S – Kerby Joseph


What Are the Colts Getting in Alec Pierce?

The Indianapolis Colts came into the draft with a need at receiver, and they took a swing at wideout Alec Pierce with the 53rd overall pick.

Pierce — who is 6-foot-3, 208 pounds — was a key cog of a Cincinnati team that crashed the College Football Playoff last season. While he never had elite on-field production — 52 catches, 884 yards and eight scores as a fourth-year senior — Pierce tested extremely well at the combine. According to PlayerProfiler, he rates in at least the 90th percentile in 40-yard dash (4.41), speed score, burst score and catch radius.

Will he help the Colts be more explosive offensively?

Player Comparisons

Our Brandon Gdula's draft database has found these 10 prior prospects to have the most similar statistical profiles to Pierce’s. Keep in mind that these are based not on play style or traits but age, athleticism, draft equity, experience, efficiency, and production.

Rank Alec Pierce Profile Comparisons Similarity
1 Aaron Dobson 92.9%
2 Denzel Mims 92.8%
3 Cody Latimer 91.9%
4 Tee Higgins 91.9%
5 DeVante Parker 91.0%
6 Austin Pettis 90.3%
7 Bryan Edwards 89.9%
8 Terrace Marshall Jr. 89.0%
9 DeVier Posey 88.2%
10 AJ Green 87.9%

Gdula's Take: Pierce has the physical traits — size and speed — to transition well to the NFL. He didn't, however, pair that with a lot of production at Cincinnati. His reception market share score puts him in the 22nd percentile, and his efficiency metrics are in the 37th percentile.

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