With the 2021-22 season now pushing to a close, the Detroit Lions can begin to think about the future and what will happen when the NFL draft starts in a few months time.
While there might be plenty of time to go before then, there is no question that there have been some themes for the Lions early in terms of mock drafts. One of them has been the team selecting a defender early with their first pick, likely a defensive lineman.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
To this point, there hasn’t been many quarterbacks in the mix early on, but that could be changing in the new year. The Lions may not be poised to draft a quarterback early, but if the right player is on the board, the team will have to take a hard look and consider one. That’s the opinion of a new mock draft from Luke Easterling and The Draft Wire.
In a recent mock for the site, Easterling had a surprise for Lions fans in the form of Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett going with the second-overall selection to Detroit. It’s a surprise being Pickett has been more of a late-round option for teams in mock drafts. As for why, Easterling explains that Pickett could rocket up draft boards given he has a lot of traits that Joe Burrow had last season, and believes he can have the same kind of instant impact like Burrow has for Cincinnati.
With the Los Angeles pick, Easterling has the Lions grabbing Purdue wideout David Bell whom he describes as big and athletic as well as a perfect complement for Amon-Ra St. Brown. Obviously, he’s the kind of weapon that could mean a great deal to a Detroit offensive turnaround.
It might be a bit farfetched to think the Lions would grab a quarterback that early, but if Pickett is their guy, they might have to make the move.
Pickett, Bell Statistics Solid
Both players would represent a major boost for the Detroit offense considering what they can do on the field. Pickett would be a particularly interesting addition given the Lions have needed a developmental quarterback for a while, and he could be just the kind of player that the Lions could build around if he was indeed the selection. With 12,303 yards and 81 touchdowns, Pickett has put up some solid stats in his college career. Here’s a closer look at Pickett:
In terms of Bell, the Purdue wideout was extremely dangerous this season given his big-play ability. He’s got a big body and is the kind of pass catcher that the Lions could love in order to generate some bigger plays for their offense. With 2,946 yards and 21 touchdowns, Bell has been one of the most productive wideouts in the Big Ten and is trending well to the NFL. Here’s a look at his work:
Obviously, this would become quite a connection for the Lions to build around in the future if the duo were to team up in Detroit.
Lions’ 2022 NFL Draft Needs
Regardless of what direction the team goes, Detroit will continue to use the draft as the big way to build their roster. If the Lions manage to secure a top two selection in the draft as most will hope they can do, 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 some of the 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.
This would be a big start for the Lions, specifically on the offensive side of the ball for the future.