The Detroit Lions were expected to make some major strides in 2022 on the field, and so far, that hasn’t happened in a big enough way.
While that reality can be frustrating for fans, there is always a significant silver lining in the hope such a finish provides for the future. With this in mind, the Lions could be in very good shape for 2023 providing their struggles continue.
As ESPN draft analyst and insider Matt Miller pointed out, the site’s FPI metric, which predicts the results of future contests, seems to think the Lions will be geared-up for an epic slide to their season culminating in yet another high draft pick for next year.
“Really interesting look at the *projected* draft order from the ESPN FPI: 1. Panthers, 2. Lions, 3. Bears, 4. Texans, 5. Steelers, 6. Seahawks (Denver), 7. Commanders, 8. Eagles (New Orleans), 9. Seahawks, 10. Texans,” Miller tweeted.
Detroit and Carolina play head-to-head later in the season in what could be a must-watch game for draft order should things play out like this. The Lions already have a win in their back pocket over Washington, and will play the Bears twice before the season finishes up.
There’s a lot to be decided before this metric is taken as fact, but at the very least, it seems to already like the Lions to struggle the rest of this season.
Lions’ 2022 Season Isn’t Yet Over
No matter what the FPI metric says, the Lions still have a great chance to improve their seeding and finish away from the top 10 of the NFL draft. The Lions have one of the easier schedules in the second-half of the 2022 season.
Outside of battles against surprisingly tough teams like both squads from New York, the Lions will still tangle with teams that are struggling this year. Games against Carolina, Jacksonville, Chicago and perhaps Miami offer Detroit a chance to find a way to get healthy record-wise providing they can get healthy and step things up.
While it’s never too early to take a look at draft standings, this metric might be more than a little bit premature to consider. That will be determined by what happens on the field, but the Lions could always prove it wrong by winning a few more games than expected and clawing back to respectability.
Lions Rooting Interests for 2023 Draft
While it’s early, it certainly looks as if the Lions, with their injuries, are going to be a team that may be watching the draft order very closely the rest of the way while competing with others for a top pick.
If that’s the case, there have been some early lines drawn regarding what teams the Lions may have to battle the closest at this point in time. The Carolina Panthers are looking like one of the worst teams in football, as are the Washington Commanders. Along with the Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans, these could be the teams the Lions will compete against most for a top pick.
Detroit already beat Washington, and later in the season, they will play against Carolina. That could leave that game as a huge one for draft standing when all is said and done.
Additionally, the Lions will be rooting against the Rams hard the rest of the way since they own their 2023 pick as part of the Matthew Stafford trade. If the Lions could finish with a pair of top picks, that could be a huge boost to their future.
There’s a long way to go this season, but already, some interesting conclusions are being drawn about draft order.
Once again, the Lions seem to be ready to take their place in the thick of the conversation for a new year. Some see them ending up right where they did last offseason already.