The Detroit Lions got two top players on Thursday night, and thus it’s easy to tab them as a winner of the first round of the 2022 draft.
The Detroit Lions got arguably the top overall player in the 2022 draft when the got Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson with the second overall pick Thursday night. After that, they traded up to No. 12 overall and took Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams.
If he hadn’t torn his ACL in the Crimson Tide’s national title game loss to Georgia, Williams might have been the first wide receiver drafted this year and a top-10 pick. Even with that, albeit with indications he’s making a nice recovery from the injury and won’t miss many (if any) regular season games, he was a top-12 pick and the fourth receiver off the board.
Instant declarations of draft winners can be proven foolish as years pass. But in this moment it’s hard to argue with what the Lions did in the first round, and the aggressive approach to move up and get Williams should be appreciated.
Detroit Lions anointed as a big first round winner
According to FanSided’s Matt Lombardo, citing an NFC Personnel Director, the Lions “hit it out of the park” and were one of the biggest winners in Round 1.
There’s a case for Hutchinson and Williams as two of the top 5-10 best players in this year’s draft. For some (including Lombardo’s source), they are the best players at their respective positions.
Hutchinson and Williams also play positions that have both become premium positions. The value of dynamic pass rushers is obvious and nothing new. With where wide receiver salaries are going, as some big names continue to get traded then get the big new contract they wanted, the Lions now have a second budding star at the position who’ll be on a rookie contract.
Day 2 of the draft could be another big win for the Lions. The first round was a nice start regardless, and the sentiment they nailed their two Round 1 picks isn’t going to fade for awhile.