It’s a rare and special safety who’s worthy of a top-five overall pick, but the general consensus is Hamilton belongs in that elite class. He’s big, athletic and versatile, and the Lions could use all of that in their secondary.
If the Lions take Hamilton, they better be right given what safeties could be available a little later. I admittedly wouldn’t have made this pick easily, but Hamilton was the “best player available “and I had to keep that mode with Aidan Hutchinson gone at No. 1. Last week, head coach Dan Campbell spoke about having little regard for perception of positional value.
“We’re looking at every scenario because there’s some guys that are ultimately—some might say, ‘Well, is the value worth it at two?’ No, we don’t care,” Campbell said. “All that matters is this dude is going to come in and play, and he’s going to help us, and he’s going to be a productive player for a long time in this league for us. That’s what matters to us.”
Some would say the Lions should avoid any and all quarterbacks in this draft. Almost as if it’s guaranteed they’ll be in a position to take one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 draft (Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or whoever else might emerge), and that class of signal callers will be markedly better than this year’s class.
Georgia safety Lewis Cine was technically the best player available on Pro Football Focus’ rankings at this spot. But I already had Hamilton. Doubling-up on arguably the top two safeties in this draft is a cute idea, but I couldn’t reasonably do it.
The Lions got a close look at Howell down at the Senior Bowl, and the drop-off he had as a passer in 2021 can be explained by looking at the talent the Tar Heels lost to the NFL from the 2020 campaign. Detroit takes a shot on a quarterback of the future here.