The Lions don't feel like a club that's the owner of the No. 2 overall pick. Right? I can't be the only one who thinks that way. Sure, they went 3-13-1 in 2021 but went 2-6 in one-score games and fought like hell for Dan Campbell all season. That one-score game record is likely to regress back to the mean this upcoming season.
Detroit wasn't completely dull in free agency, adding the likes of D.J. Chark, yet this club needs to renovate its roster through the draft.
Below, we will break down what Detroit needs to accomplish in the 2022 NFL Draft: the positions it needs to prioritize, what it should do and not do.
1. Legitimately consider offers for their early picks
This roster isn't brutal, most namely due to a rock-solid offensive line. With a strong draft and more contributions from young players, Detroit could be well on its way to legitimately competing for a playoff spot in 2023, and, really, given how watered-down the NFC is this year, if they're in the playoff hunt in November this year, I won't be surprised in the least.
With selections at No. 2, No. 32, and No. 34 overall, the Lions are in a luxurious situation. They have two thirds too. But Detroit could conceivably leave this draft with a king's ransom of Top 100 selections if it moves back even once. And, yes, at No. 32 or No. 34, the quarterback position should be considered. But if I'm the Lions, I'm making it known to every GM in the league the last pick in Round 1 for a glut of Day 2 selection -- or how about some 2023 early picks? -- for a team interested in moving into Round 1 for a quarterback to get that cost-controlled fifth-year option.
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2. Add a receiver (or two)
I like Chark. When healthy, he's an explosive perimeter wideout. Josh Reynolds has an established connection with Jared Goff, and Amon-Ra St. Brown caught 88 passes as a rookie. Not bad for a 3-13-1 club. But given the heightened state of the receiver position in today's NFL and how every club's loading up at the position, Detroit has to be better and more diverse than it currently is. And wideout is more valuable than ever.
In terms of well-rounded prospects, this receiver class is top heavy. A pick at receiver at No. 32 or No. 34 would be smart. Both for the short and long term.
Later in the draft, a bunch of specialist wideouts will be available. Speedsters. YAC monsters. It'd be shrewd to double-dip at the position. Then in 2023, those youngsters will have a year of seasoning.
3. Address the edge-rusher position
Charles Harris was a successful reclamation project in 2021. The former bust of a first-round pick had 7.5 sacks and 52 pressures. He finally realized his pass-rushing potential. But he's not a major needle-mover. And there isn't one of those up front on defense. That needs to change, especially given today's offensive-driven climate of the NFL.
This addressing of the edge-rusher position will probably happen at No. 2 overall, with Aidan Hutchinson. Travon Walker, myin this class, would scare me, but I'd get it from a long-term view perspective. One way or another, that premier position must be prioritized for the Lions.
Fortunately for them, the edge-rusher spot is the.