24 C
New York
Friday, May 27, 2022

NFL Mock Drafts: Why Detroit Lions Could Once Again Take A DB In The Top 3

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

If you ask most NFL draft experts, “Michigan football star Aidan Hutchinson to the Detroit The dream of the lions is dead.

Free-agent deals, trades and franchise tag designations have spurred a new round of draft projections this week and transformed what many thought the first round would be.

The Lions have three of the top 34 picks and could use one of them (probably the bottom two) to draft their quarterback of the future. With the draft about five weeks away, several quarterbacks in this class are performing at pro days and workouts this week.

But the debate centers on the top of the draft, where Detroit picks second.

[ It makes more sense than ever for Detroit Lions to go young at QB ]

For much of the offseason, the assumption was the jacksonville The Jaguars, who pick first, would make an offensive tackle to secure the line protecting 2021’s top pick, Trevor Lawrence. That calculation has apparently changed.

When Jacksonville placed the franchise tag on OT Cam Robinson, analysts took it as a sign that the Jaguars, who needed talent throughout their roster, wouldn’t spend the best capital in the draft on the position. Thus, the “Hutchinson goes from a visit to the Orange Bowl to playing in Florida full time” narrative has become dominant.

Our Dave Birkett will release his final mock draft on Thursday. Here’s what we noticed when looking at mock drafts posted in the last few days:

An ESPN insider likes the Lions take safety at No. 2

Mel Kiper Jr. dropped his latest prediction, along with his and his ESPN colleagues’ positional rankings, early Tuesday morning and had Hutchinson at No. 1 for the Jags.

Why did you change your mind about your pre-combine mock draft, when North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu was projected No. 1 and Hutchinson projected No. 2 for the Lions?

“Jacksonville decided to franchise tag left tackle Cam Robinson for the second year in a row,” Kiper writes, “eliminating their need for a top-tier blindside protector (at least for a year) for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Now, Hutchinson is the heavy favorite to go to the Jags, unless a desperate team changes.

“Hutchinson, my top-ranked prospect in this class, could get double-digit sacks playing the other side of Josh Allen in defense of new coordinator Mike Caldwell. The Jaguars made some big-money moves in free agency, but there’s still a huge hole at defensive end.

FAKE BIRKETT 2.0 DRAFT: What do the Lions do if Hutchinson becomes No. 1?

MORE LIONS: WR DJ Chark ‘feels good to be loved’ after signing free agency deal

ANALYSIS: General manager Brad Holmes is ‘selective’ in free agency; new contract for this CB?

Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton participates in the long jump at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on March 6, 2022.

So the Lions go with Kayvon Thibodeaux, right? Thibodeaux is the consensus second-best pass-rusher in the class; he is believed to have a higher ceiling but a lower floor than the most polished Hutchinson.

Not so fast. Kiper has the Lions taking a defensive back, Kyle Hamilton from Notre Dame, with a top-three pick for the second time in three drafts.

“Hamilton is a deep playmaker in a 6-foot-4 frame that would immediately raise the roof of a defense that has struggled for years,” Kiper theorizes. “He can play in the box, out of the slot and as a center fielder. Normally I’d say this is too high for a safety, but Hamilton is a unique and special defender. Detroit got safety Tracy Walker back, but he could play with Hamilton.”

Kiper said that Hamilton may be the safer option than Thibodeaux and is more confident to make a difference. A light class in elite quarterback prospects, the top-ranked recruits are defenders and offensive tackles, the latter of whom the Lions spent their top pick on last year.

[ Dave Birkett: These clues swayed me to pick Kayvon Thibodeaux for Lions in mock draft 2.0 ]

Kiper stayed consistent with one pick: Just as he did earlier this month, he has the Lions taking Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral with their second pick (No. 32, via the Matthew Stafford trade). with the the Angels rams).

Travon Walker gives the Lions some love at No. 2

6-foot-5, 272-pound Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker’s stock has surged over the past three weeks, thanks to incredible testing numbers. He ran an absurd 4.51-second 40-yard dash that, when I was growing up, was still considered relatively fast for a wide receiver. His 35-inch vertical jump and 4.32 transport time reek of burst and agility.

Walker won a national championship with the Bulldogs, recording 33 tackles, six sacks and two pass breakups while playing on a defense loaded with NFL talent.

Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) is tackled by Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker (44) during the second half of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Friday, May 31. December 2021.

Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) is tackled by Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker (44) during the second half of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Friday, May 31. December 2021.

Kiper moved him up from the No. 17 pick to No. 6 for his coaching efforts. But CBS analyst Josh Edwards and USA TODAY’s Nate Davis have Walker moving up to No. 2 with the Lions.

Davis, like Kiper, indicated that either offensive tackle would be a solid pick, but drafting an offensive lineman seems like duplication.

[ Lions get good look at Georgia LBs Nakobe Dean, Travon and Quay Walker at pro day ]

“Barring a trade, the rapidly growing Walker would be a sensible alternative (to Hutchinson), especially after the release of DE Trey Flowers…Walker can do pretty much everything from applying pressure to shutting down running lines. to get into coverage,” writes Davis. “He Solo had 9½ sacks in three seasons with the Dawgs, so the lack of production is a bit disconcerting even when viewed in the context of Georgia’s depth and the fact that Walker often lined up inside.

“But the ability is there, and so they could also increase the opportunities by pairing him with Charles Harris and Romeo Okwara, a trio that could make a decent run.”

Like others, most CBS draft analysts believe Aidan Hutchinson becomes No. 1

Three of the four CBS tipsters with constantly updated mocks have Heisman finalist Hutchinson as the top pick for the Jags, but they vary on what they think the Lions will do.

Edwards, as mentioned above, has Walker in Detroit after Hutchinson is off the board.

“Walker may physically remind John Dorsey of Myles Garrett, and while he has a lot of work to do to become such a skilled pass-rusher, the characteristics are hard to miss,” he wrote. “I heard Liberty quarterback Malik Willis could be an option here as well, but I still don’t think so; that’s too rich for my blood.”

Thibodeaux is the No. 2 option for Ryan Wilson and Kyle Stackpole, who had Hutchinson No. 1. CBS’s Chris Trapasso went “old school” (by that we mean “winter”) in projecting Alabama’s Evan Neal, who entered the offseason as the top tackle by many pundits, at No. 1. He has the Lions getting Hutchinson.

[ The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our best Lions, Michigan State and Michigan coverage. ]

Michigan’s David Ojabo, Dax Hill still on first-round radar

David Ojabo’s rise from football newcomer to NFL player has been slowed by a terribly timed injury, but teams aren’t giving up on Michigan’s defensive star.

Ojabo, relatively inexperienced but considered the best outside linebacker in the draft, was a near-consensus first-round pick after a double-digit sacking season as a junior. But after suffering an Achilles tendon injury during Michigan’s pro day last week, some wondered how badly his draft performance would be affected.

According to the six mocks seen by the Free Press, Ojabo could still be a day one pick, but Dax Hill is more likely to be a first-round pick for the Wolverines.

Michigan linebacker David Ojabo, center, during warmups before the Big Ten championship game against Iowa on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Michigan linebacker David Ojabo, center, during warmups before the Big Ten championship game against Iowa on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Kiper believes the injury, which could sideline Ojabo for six months or more, pushed Ojabo into the second round. Stackpole doesn’t have him in his first-round mock and Wilson picked him 35th in his two-round mock. Edwards has him ranked 30th for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kiper and Trapasso are fine with Hill as a top 32 pick, but Edwards has him at No. 25 for the Buffalo Bills and Wilson has him at No. 19 for the Philadelphia Eagles. Hill goes No. 20 to Pittsburgh in the Stackpole update.

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @tdavisfreep.

Your subscription makes work like this possible. Get exclusive subscriber content and more here.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions get Travon Walker, Kyle Hamilton in NFL mock drafts

Source link

- Advertisement -

New Articles