In Todd McShay’s first mock draft for 2022, the Detroit Lions indeed get a quarterback.
Some might say it’s not mock draft season until Todd McShay releases his first one. On Tuesday, the ESPN NFL Draft analyst released his Mock Draft 1.0 for 2022.
McShay has five quarterbacks going in the first round, though none in the top-10 for the first time since 2013. The first four go off the board from picks 12-19 in McShay’s mock, in order–Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder.
The Lions won’t be taking a quarterback No. 1 overall, or anywhere their own first-round pick might land. But with their second first-round pick, from the Matthew Stafford trade with the Los Angeles Rams, a quarterback will definitely be a possibility.
McShay latches on to the current buzz, and has the Lions taking Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson first overall.
"The production speaks for itself: He has 14.0 sacks, 73 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and a pair of forced fumbles, and he tends to play at his best in the biggest spots,” writes McShay. “Detroit is in the bottom five in yards allowed per play, points allowed per game and sacks, and while Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara, Trey Flowers and a host of others can be impact players, Hutchinson could be the guy on the edge for the Lions.”"
Lions get a quarterback in Todd McShay’s first 2022 mock
At No. 25 McShay has the Lions taking……North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. Here’s what McShay wrote.
"While this class lacks a surefire franchise guy, it does have plenty of high-upside passers who could become just that,” writes McShay. “I actually like Howell a little more than Desmond Ridder. The UNC product reads the field well and shows good touch and timing on his throws.”Jared Goff’s dead money would fall from $30.5 million in 2022 to $10 million in 2023 and $5 million in 2024, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Detroit drafts someone like Howell at the end of the first round to secure the fifth-year option and lets him learn behind Goff for a year before handing over the keys.”"
Howell rebounded from a rough season opener to have a solid 2021 campaign (23 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 825 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns). He has had a prolific three seasons as the Tar Heels’ signal caller, with over 10,000 passing yards and 91 touchdown passes. As of the most recent news, Howell plans to play against South Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30.
An easy comp for the 6-foot-1 inch Howell is Baker Mayfield, which isn’t too inspiring. A more strained comparison to Stafford came from Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports just before Halloween.
Since the Lions are stuck with Jared Goff for one more year, they don’t necessarily need a rookie quarterback to be ready to start right away. On that note, Howell could be the guy who’s groomed before fully taking over in 2023.