The Detroit Lions are ready to attack one of the most important parts of the offseason in the form of the NFL draft evaluation period and as they do, mock draft updates continue to pour in.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper was the latest to do an update in an ESPN Insider piece, and he had an important change to his plan for Lions fans to remember heading into the prospect evaluation phase of the pre-draft process in 2022.
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In a mock draft update ahead of the NFL Combine this week, Kiper didn’t do much of a shakeup for the Lions in terms of the position they might target, but did have an interesting change as it relates to one of the players that they land. Kiper sent the Lions Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson with the second-overall pick, saying that selection would make sense due to Hutchinson’s overall talent and not simply because he was a Wolverine. Specifically, Kiper admits “this should be a rush-to-the-podium selection” to grab Hutchinson.
Where a bit more intrigue comes in is with the 32nd overall pick. As per usual, Kiper has the Lions going with a quarterback. This time, however, it isn’t UNC’s Sam Howell he sends to Detroit, but rather Ole Miss signal caller Matt Corral. As Kiper explains, he isn’t sure if Jared Goff is a long-term option at the position, so taking a gamble on a player who has a quality arm but may need to learn the ropes of the NFL could be a good idea in his mind.
“Yes, they have several needs, but if they can get a quarterback with a fifth-year option, they could continue the positive momentum of their rebuild,” Kiper writes in the piece.
Corral would make sense as a developmental player for the Lions for the future, and that’s just the kind of quarterback many see the Lions gambling on if they elect to make a move at the position. Once again, another mock goes defense and quarterback for Detroit.
Kiper Has Been Consistent With Quarterback for Lions Thus Far
Within his mock drafts and even those of fellow draft prognosticator Todd McShay, there are a few themes that have developed. First of all, both men believe the Lions will select a defender, specifically a defensive end, with the second-overall selection. Lately, it’s become a bit more en-vogue to see mocks put safety Kyle Hamilton in that spot for Detroit. So far, no such change from Kiper. Additionally, Kiper and McShay also continue to believe the Lions will be looking at selecting a quarterback with the 32nd pick. The reasoning? Detroit would gain a fifth-year option in taking a swing on a quarterback with a first-round pick.
So far, the names have changed, but the theme remains the same for Kiper in his first round of mocks into March. A quarterback could be on the menu for a team that could use some future stability at the position.
Corral’s Stats & Highlights
Obviously, Corral is a talented player even though he has been overlooked a bit by Lions fans during the pre-draft process so far. While at Ole Miss, Corral managed to put up some great stats with 8,281 yards and 57 touchdowns to just 23 interceptions. Corral is the type of player who can scramble around and make some plays happen with his feet, which could be a huge bonus for a team like Detroit. Here’s a look at Corral showing off some of the talent he put on display in one of the best conferences in college football:
Corral is a potential star developmental quarterback in the making given the strong arm and athletic ability he possesses, and if he were to join the Lions, that’s just what he would be likely to be. Even if he doesn’t start in 2022 immediately, Corral would still be a major part of Detroit’s plan for 2023 and beyond if the team were to select him as suggested.
Kiper can be added to the list of those who think he’s in-play for the Lions come April.