ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Detroit Lions an edge rusher and a quarterback in his first 2022 mock, and he did so again in version 2.0.
In his first mock draft of 2022, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. had the Detroit Lions going edge rusher (Kayvon Thibodeaux) and quarterback (Sam Howell) with their two first-round picks. He’s out with his second 2022 mock (subscription required) as NFL Combine week gets rolling.
With the No. 2 overall pick, Kiper has the Lions taking Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. He previously had Hutchinson going first overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"The Lions are in a great spot here, with a clear need at edge rusher and one of the best two prospects guaranteed to be available,” Kiper writes. “Hutchinson is a local kid who just finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, racking up 14 sacks and 19 total tackles for loss and dominating Big Ten offensive tackles. This is not just a sentimental pick because he went to Michigan; Hutchinson is an elite defender.”"
Detroit Lions get a different quarterback with second first-round pick in Kiper’s mock
With the final pick of the first round, Kiper has the Lions taking a quarterback–Matt Corral out of Ole Miss.
"Let’s end this mock draft with another quarterback, because I’m not convinced Jared Goff will be Detroit’s long-term signal-caller,” Kiper explains. “Corral could be, though, and in this scenario he could get time to learn behind Goff in 2022, when the Lions almost certainly won’t be contending in the NFC North. Yes, they have several needs, but if they can get a quarterback with a fifth-year option, they could continue the positive momentum of their rebuild…He’s a dual-threat quarterback who can beat teams with his legs, but he ran an RPO-centric offense at Ole Miss, and he’s going to need to learn how to adapt in the NFL. “"
Corral won’t be throwing at the combine as he works his way back from an ankle injury in January’s Sugar Bowl. After throwing 14 interceptions in 2020 he threw just five picks on 60 more attempts in 2021, while adding over 600 rushing yards and 11 scores on the ground. Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus had the Lions taking Corral 32nd overall in a recent mock.
I don’t love any comps to Baker Mayfield for Corral. I think Corral is more mobile/more of a dual threat with a stronger arm, and the comparison to Mayfield is lazily rooted in being similar size. Let’s assume the Lions would happily grab Corral to cap off the first round if he’s there.