New Todd McShay Mock Reverses Course Significantly for Lions Draft

Boye Mafe

Getty Boye Mafe makes a sack for Minnesota in a 2021 game against West Virginia.

With plenty of diverse needs, the Detroit Lions seem wide open in terms of what they can do for the 2022 NFL draft, and that is starting to be seen in a very obvious way within some new mock drafts.

At this point, there are no clear favorites for the Lions in terms of players or picks, even up to the second-overall selection in the NFL draft. Many think the Lions could go with an edge rusher, but other spots are creeping into the mix as well, from quarterback to other spots on defense including safety.

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That’s exactly what ESPN draft insider Todd McShay forecasted happening in a brand new mock draft. Following the NFL combine, McShay revealed a new look at what he believes is set to happen, and had the Lions making a bit of a stunning move and going with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton with the second-overall pick.

Hamilton, McShay says is the kind of prospect that can fill an immediate need for the Lions on the back end considering he plays aggressive as well as quick. As he explains, “Hamilton closes like a heat-seeking missile, and his playmaking would be welcomed in Detroit.” In spite of this, McShay explains the defensive end prospects will be considered at the spot, and also, the Lions might decide to trade up for a quarterback from their second selection.

With the 32nd pick, McShay doesn’t make a trade and instead sends the Lions Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe, a player who impressed at the combine with his ability to get after it in terms of speed. McShay admits “the arrow is pointing way up on him, and the Lions are searching for a consistent pass-rush presence” for their team.

Clearly, the theme here for McShay is all about defense, which isn’t a bad idea given how badly the Lions have struggled at that spot most of the last few seasons. Both players would fill that hole in a big way for the team.

Daniel Jeremiah Recently Answered Safety Question

The discussion about a defensive back is likely to come up in the coming weeks given the team’s struggles at that position in the last few years and some of the roster holes at both safety and cornerback. The Lions could be staring a player in the face who could make sense for selection in either LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. or Hamilton himself.

In the case of Hamilton, there might be a growing consensus to make him the pick in the minds of many that see Detroit’s need for better players on the back end. NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah was on a conference call with reporters and was asked about the potential for the Lions to select Hamilton with the second-overall pick. Justin Rogers of the Detroit News recapped his answer about a situation where the Lions could be enticed by the top safety in the class.

“NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah asked about taking Kyle Hamilton at No. 2. He said it’s a good debate, but Jeremiah said he’s biased seeing Derwin James’ impact weekly working Chargers games. Jeremiah said he’d have no issue with Lions taking Hamilton if Hutchinson off the board,” Rogers tweeted.

As is explained, the Lions would most certainly have to have other avenues that did not work early to take Hamilton. The Lions could well get their choice of Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Hamilton. If that’s the case, it would likely be smarter for the team to go with the lineman. If one is off the board, the Lions could certainly look to Hamilton to fill another key void.

Another fact that will determine this is what happens in free agency. The Lions could well target a big-ticket item such as Marcus Williams or re-signing Tracy Walker. If that happens, safety would likely be crossed off the list quickly.

Hamilton’s Stats & Highlights

There is no doubting the fact that Hamilton is worthy of high consideration in the draft given what he has already proven he can do in college. While with the Fighting Irish, Hamilton was annually one of the top players and piled up 138 tackles, 8 interceptions and 16 passes defended. Those numbers do point to his ability to be rangy and cover plenty of space.

Here’s a look at some of his highlights:

Most FREAKISH Athletic SAFETY in College Football 🍀 || Notre Dame Safety Kyle Hamilton Highlights ᴴᴰSubscribe, Like this Video & Turn On Notifications! (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Instagram: Twitter: Patreon: Facebook: Notre Dame Safety Kyle Hamilton Junior 6’4 220 lbs Notre Dame lost it’s best defensive player in Butkus Award winner Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but the Irish still had one of the best defensive players in…2021-12-15T00:00:12Z

There’s no doubting Hamilton would be one of the top ways the Lions could look at solving their safety problem, and adding him to the mix could allow the team freedom to pursue lower-cost fixes in free agency elsewhere. After seeing what he can do in college, the Lions might be thinking that way when all is said and done.

Many mocks are beginning to hone in on that being a major possibility at this point in time.

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