Lions Surge to Top of 2022 NFL Draft Order After Week 6 Loss

Tracy Walker

Getty Tracy Walker flexes on the field during the Lions loss to the Bengals in 2021.

The Detroit Lions are winless on the 2021 season, and while that might lead to hopeless feelings for fans right now, the real payoff could be set to come further down the line.

By virtue of Sunday’s result, and the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars finally won a game, the Lions have surged to the top of the 2022 NFL draft standings. The Lions now own the hypothetical top pick next year with just under half the season to go.

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Detroit managed to jump the Jaguars, who snapped a 20 game losing streak with a win in Week 6. With Detroit winless, that gives them a one game lead over Jacksonville, Miami, Houston and the New York Giants heading into Week 7. Perhaps no team has a big advantage as Detroit given all their injuries at multiple spots on the roster, which will be something to watch the rest of the way.

For now, though, everyone has to catch Detroit the rest of the way for the top pick.

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.

Lions Battling Jaguars, Others for Top Pick in 2022 Draft

Right now, Detroit’s 0-6 record beats Jacksonville for the worst in the league. Other 1-5 teams with potentially bleak futures are hanging around in the standings as well, including the Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. The New York Jets sit at 1-4. Those rosters might find it difficult to win many games this year just like the Lions and Jaguars, so it will be an interesting battle to see who can become the worst team in the league in order to land the top pick in the draft once more.

Even though the Lions have been a hard-charging, motivated team, Detroit is taking on the look of one of the most injury-riddled rosters in the NFL so far this season having lost multiple key starters to season ending ailments on the field. That in of itself could help in positioning the team for a run at a high pick by the time the end of the season rolls around.

There’s still a long way to go with the season and jockeying for position with draft picks, though, and a lot could always change. For now, the Lions have surged to the top of the draft leaderboard, and that’s a major bit of hope for fans in a dismal year.

READ NEXT: Hunt Report: Why Lions Could Go Winless During 2021 Season

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