The Detroit Lions have put the finishing touches on their 2022 NFL draft class, and while the team has a long way to go before the season begins, it’s never a bad time to take a look at where everyone stacks up at the moment.
At this point in time, the Lions occupy a pretty favorable position in the league. While they are still lagging behind in the eyes of many, they are still seen as a team on the come up, which means they could be dangerous in the near future.
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That fact is starting to reflect itself on the rankings circuit. After the NFL draft concluded, several folks have started to look at rating not only the classes selected, but ranking the teams as a whole against their NFL competition. While the Lions didn’t make great gains from free agency, their draft performance has them on the move a bit.
NFL.com and writer Dan Hanzus put together a power ranking list after the NFL draft, and the Lions were remarkably moving upward. Hanzus had Detroit climbing from 29th to 27th on the list, and had some lofty praise for the team and what brass is doing to build them at this point.
“The Lions are starting to feel like what the Browns were a few years back: a likable underdog on the come-up. The draft provided more reason to believe Detroit is on the right track,” Hanzus wrote in the piece.
In terms of the draft, Hanzus liked it, and also reminded folks that Jared Goff will stick as the starter for 2022. Still, as he concedes in the piece, “the Lions are building something here. Hard Knocks is going to be fun.”
With a solid draft class and most of the offseason heavy lifting finished, the Lions can start looking forward to the end of the summer. By that time, they might be set to burst on the scene and kick off what figures to be a brighter future.
Lions Bottomed Out During 2021 Power Rankings
Given the team’s 3-13-1 record in 2021, it was not a shock to see the Lions sagging behind in the power rankings. Much of the season, the team hovered between 25th to 32nd in the rankings, which wasn’t a surprise given the lack of winning the team had done on the field. Most of last season, the Lions were one of the worst teams in the league, and it is a label they earned with inconsistent play. It didn’t help that the team lost names such as Jared Goff, T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, Romeo Okwara, Jeff Okudah and Quintez Cephus to injury at various points in time.
As a result of these struggles, it was not surprising to see the Lions bottoming out in power rankings. The team didn’t get anything going and was on a death spiral most of the year record-wise.
Lions’ 2022 NFL Draft Recap
The Lions have been enjoying perhaps their second straight strong draft in the last few years. On Thursday night, Detroit started strong with defensive end Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan, who will be a slam-dunk fit for the defense as well as a hit locally given he grew up in town. After that, the Lions traded up for wideout Jameson Williams, who should add a dynamic element to their offense. Day two brought the team some more defensive help with gritty and classy Josh Paschal, who may also have a future in acting. Super athletic safety Kirby Joseph closed out the day, and should contend for a role quickly in the Motor City on a needy defense. During day three, the Lions added Virginia Tech tight end James Mitchell, Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, Jackson State linebacker James Houston and Arizona State cornerback Chase Lucas.
All-told, it was a solid draft for the Lions that filled plenty of needs. The excitement from this period will only help the team as it relates to building for the future and keeping upward momentum on such lists in the future.