Detroit Lions 2022 NFL Draft: Reactions and pick grades
By Zach Payne
Round 6, No. 217 overall: James Houston, OLB, Jackson State
At the end of the sixth round, the Lions took their third edge rusher of the draft. A transfer from Florida, Houston lit up the FCS with 16.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss in 13 games for Jackson State and Deion Sanders last season.
He comes to a Detroit team that already had a crowded edge room. More precisely, this pick means Austin Bryant is on the roster bubble—if he wasn’t already.
Houston now presumably slots in behind Hutchinson, Paschal, Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris as an edge guy. The sheer volume of depth the Lions now possess at the edge position is truly ridiculous, and not everyone will make the team.
Houston himself will likely see work as a pass-rush specialist in specific sub-packages with the chance to earn more snaps throughout the season. Having a good training camp and preseason will be key for him, he will certainly be someone to keep an eye on throughout that process.
I love the amount of depth on paper at edge. But much like the Paschal pick, I simply think taking another edge serves as gluttony for this team. I would have much rather seen them double-dip at linebacker or take a developmental offensive linemen here. It’s not a bad pick, but I don’t view it highly.