The Detroit Lions remain the only winless team in the NFL, but all that negativity has come with one major positive in the form of the 2022 NFL draft order.
At this point in time, the Lions continue to take small steps toward ensuring that all the losing comes with the benefit of the first pick in the draft next year, and it’s becoming harder to ignore that the team may be in the driver’s seat for that selection when all is said and done.
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Recently, ESPN’s FPI metric took a look at the favorites for the top overall pick and not surprisingly, the Lions were in a very commanding spot. As ESPN’s Seth Walder pointed out, the Lions are currently favored by 69% to take home the first pick in the draft. Their next closest competitor? The New York Jets, with a mere 13% chance. No other competitor comes within double-digit percentage chance at this point in time.
Detroit’s struggles on both sides of the ball paint the picture of a team that may find winning a game difficult the rest of the way, and it’s likely the FPI metric is taking this possibility into account for the team as they set about finishing their season.
Fans weary of all the losing need only take heart in the fact that a big payoff is likely coming soon for the team in terms of the top selection overall.
Lions Have Received Major Draft Order Help Recently
The Lions have opened up a nice two game lead on the opposition for the top pick, and that has come as a result of some upsets on the field. The hapless Jacksonville Jaguars were able to upend the Buffalo Bills a few weeks back for their second win of the season. Additionally, the Lions just benefitted from the Houston Texans pulling off a stunning road win over the first-place Tennessee Titans. This year, the Lions have also seen the Jets win a few games, which has taken even more of the pressure off past the midway point in the race for the top selection.
At this point, Detroit is two games up on the competition, which means they are in great shape down the stretch. They’ve built a bit of a cushion in case they win a game or two, and could figure to stay in command until the end.
Lions’ Top 2022 NFL Draft Needs
If the Lions manage to secure the top selection in the draft, there’s a multitude of ways they could elect to go with the pick given the unique needs of the roster. The team’s defense needs playmakers up front to rush the passer along the defensive line, and could also need depth on the back end at cornerback. Offensively, the Lions have a major need for a big time pass catching wideout to help their down field attack on offense. As always, quarterback is going to be a position to watch near the top of the draft, especially considering the early struggles of Jared Goff with the Lions in 2021.
The good news for Detroit? They also have the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams by virtue of the Matthew Stafford trade for this year and next year, and figure to gain multiple compensatory selections for 2022 so some serious building can occur for the roster if the team manages to secure the top overall pick. Obviously, there is no shortage of needs for the team to ponder with all of their selections next year, wherever they will take place.
At this point, Detroit’s pick is feeling like it could be a lock to be atop the draft in 2022.