A report practically locking the Lions in to a No. 1 overall pick candidate for April’s draft surfaced, but Dan Campbell had no time for it on Wednesday.
For the Detroit Lions, or whoever holds the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the choice seems to be between two edge rushers–Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. The current buzz is Hutchinson to the Lions, but to totally dismiss Thibodeaux as worthy of the pick would be wrong.
Mid-December is way early for any definitive reporting about the draft, which is over four months away.
But NFL reporter Josina Anderson came out with some news on Wednesday morning, with an attempt to discount it as “oh, I forgot to drop this yesterday.”
The well-placed promo for an interview with Thibodeaux shouldn’t be discounted either, and that’s not necessarily meant as a criticism. Just a healthy dose of overall skepticism, as reporters often serve as mouthpieces for agendas. Someone wants it out (in December) that there’s “no mock needed”, and the Lions will take Thibodeaux if they have the No. 1 overall pick. The “current mindset” caveat is cliche’ language, and pretty meaningless.
Dan Campbell had perfect response to Kayvon Thibodeaux-Lions rumor
The Lions have had a lot extra going on over the past week or so, with a flu bug and a COVID-19 outbreak at the top of the list. If any concrete decisions about the 2022 draft have been made, no one is going to say so anyway. And nothing should be set in stone on Dec. 15, let alone leaked to a national reporter.
On Wednesday, and it’s just a beat reporter doing their job, Campbell was asked about Anderson’s report.
"Is the draft within the next day or so?” Campbell replied when asked about Anderson’s report. “Because then I would be very interested, but right now, no. I really don’t get involved. That’s (general manager) Brad’s (Holmes’) department right now. I’m so focused on what we have here and getting prepared for Arizona, to be honest with you.”"
Campbell said draft stuff is general manager Brad Holmes’ department “right now”, with the assumption (and guarantee) he will get involved in the pre-draft process when it comes time. With four games left, even in a dismal season, the week-to-week prep and planning is where the Lions’ head coach’s focus should be.
Campbell didn’t outright deny Anderson’s report, as much as he might even be motivated to do so at this point in time. But in some way, the indifference to it can count as a denial of a far too early draft “report”.