Lions Land Stud Defender, Top QB Within New 2022 Mock Draft

Kayvon Thibodeaux

Getty Oregon defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux celebrates a big play against Cal.

The Detroit Lions are winless and currently looking like the NFL’s most hopeless team. That’s bad news except for the fact that their reward for all this misery in 2021 could well be the top pick in the NFL draft.

Already, some interesting mocks have come to the forefront for the team, and perhaps the most interesting lately showed how diverse of a draft the team could have next spring to fill out plenty of their biggest needs on the field.

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Recently, Pro Football Focus contributor Trevor Sikkema put together a new mock draft. Within it, he had the Lions picking up defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon with the top pick. Later on in the draft, Sikkema sent the Lions North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell with their pick later in the draft from the Los Angeles Rams.

As for why, Sikkema said he believes Thibodeaux is in the elite conversation for pass rushers and is trending to perhaps be worthy of the top pick without an elite quarterback around. As for Howell, Sikkema admitted that while the quarterback has had a bumpy ride thus far, he is still showing some of the tools that could help him be productive in the NFL.

Thibodeaux is an interesting prospect considering his penchant for getting to the quarterback and making big plays up front. Thibodeaux has 90 career tackles, 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss thus far in his college career, and he is hardly finished with 2021 at Oregon. Here’s some of his top work:

Kayvon Thibodeaux | 2019-2021 HighlightsMusic Outro: Eminem – Lose Yourself Second Channel: Instagram: Twitter: ——————————————————————————————————- *I do not own any of the footage or audio in this, it belongs to the NCAA and the copyright owner of the song. I make the videos for entertainment purposes only* #NCAA #KayvonThibodeaux #CollegeFootball #NFLDraft2021-05-14T19:00:11Z

Obviously, the Lions are needy in both spots, but adding a potential game wrecker to the defense like Thibodeaux would represent a big win.

Howell’s College Stats and Highlights

When thinking about him as a prospect for Detroit, Howell was an interesting potential selection for the team. He had thrown for 7,227 yards in his career and 68 touchdowns with just 14 interceptions entering this season. In 2021, Howell has thrown for 1,851 yards and 18 touchdowns. As a result, he is trending toward being one of the better pro prospects that can be picked up next year. No longer is he considered a top 10 selection, but could be lurking as a potential first-round pick.

Here’s a look at some of Howell’s highlights from 2020:

North Carolina QB Sam Howell 2020 Highlights ❄️❄️❄️ ᴴᴰSubscribe, Like this Video & Turn On Notifications! (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Instagram: Twitter: Patreon: Facebook: North Carolina QB Sam Howell Sophomore 6’1 225 lbs North Carolina QB Sam Howell is one of the top prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft. Ever since his first collegiate start, he has been…2021-05-26T00:00:00Z

A lot can happen between now and the next draft, so it’s possible this projection is way off when all is said and done and Howell can work his way up the board. Still, some see quarterback as a spot to watch and Howell as the man the Lions will lock into, perhaps later than many would expect.

Lions Might Have Quarterback Conundrum in 2022

Detroit was rumored to perhaps be in the market for a quarterback after dealing Matthew Stafford, but they added Jared Goff to the mix and also signed Tim Boyle this offseason in free agency. The team also released Chase Daniel, but still has David Blough entrenched as the third quarterback on the roster. As a result, they rolled into the year with this group and did not add anyone else to the mix. It’s a show of just how committed the Lions are to Goff that they didn’t make an addition and bypassed this past year’s class.

The Lions are essentially giving Goff an audition for the future in the 2021 season, and thus far, the results have been rocky with just 7 touchdowns to 4 interceptions for the quarterback. In spite of this, general manager Brad Holmes knows Goff and wants to see what he can do with the Lions, and might look to add more weapons for him as well. With this in mind, it’s more than possible that Goff sticks around for more than a few seasons. He is 26, and has been one of the more successful young quarterbacks in the league recently with a 6-5 playoff record, a Super Bowl appearance and multiple big wins on the resume. Still, his presence alone isn’ going to guarantee the team ignores quarterback in the draft

There’s plenty of time for things to evolve, but without a potentially elite option, the Lions will have a decision to weigh in the coming months.

READ NEXT: Lions Select Quarterback With Top Pick in 2022 Mock Draft

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