In my 10 years or so writing about the NFL Draft, I do not remember a year when there was such uncertainty near the top. Back at the end of March, Aidan Hutchinson is still the most popular candidate for the first time. Now edited by Travon Walker (-300 on DraftKings Sportsbook). Instead, Hutchinson is now the favorite to be marked No. 2 with the Lions (-150) with Kayvon Thibodeaux hitting his heels (+130).
The silly season does not end until the Jaguars are at the clock, so we still have time to prepare for the fun. This year, I am using the Pro Football Network simulator, which is free to use. Let’s get into it.
First Line (2): Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
In this comparison, the Jaguars wrestled with Evan Neal, with the first choice. I think that is the right choice for them, but it seems impossible. However, there is a good chance that Hutchinson is still available and it eventually came down to my favorite between Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Hutchinson has an elite sports history and is worthy of what the Lions are looking for in a running game. The real knock for her as hope is her lack of arm length (7th percentile).
First line (32): George Pickens, WR, Georgia
The way all the other rounds looked was unfortunate for us. Guys like Lewis Cine, Nakobe Dean, Daxton Hill, Jaquan Brisker, among others, all led to the Lions’ second choice. Ideally Detroit could take the top defense or the next line that fell at this point, but since most of the guys were gone, I feel good about taking the best receiver available here.
George Pickens should be the 1st round pick. With the size, speed and body you have to be an outside playmaker. pic.twitter.com/GMoaQ83f3o
– Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) April 21, 2022
If the Lions do this, you may bet you are experiencing “knee pain” many times. Without a history of injury and lack of time, Pickens would have made himself the first choice. He is the most physical receiver in this planning team and fits well in the “X” receiving section that the lions are looking at.
Second Line (34): Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
Everyone wants to take Georgia’s defense in the run-up to this move, but Wyatt may not be the one Lions fans are hoping for. He’s got a bit under the radar for playing around with guys like Travon Walker, Nakobe Dean, Lewis Cine … the list goes on. However, if Wyatt is still on the board right now, I think this could be the theft of the lions, who are still looking to get more production from the defenders inside them.
Successful performance standards from head-up-or-within-tackle on 3rd-and-4-plus:
Devote Wyatt (23%)
Travis Jones (21%)
Cameron Thomas (21%)
Curtis Brooks (20%)
Jalen Carter (18%)
Josh Paschal (15%)
Logan Hall (15%)
DeMarvin Leal (10%)
Travon Walker (6%)
– Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 24, 2022
The Lions had already developed two self-defense weapons early last year, but still expect this to turn into a real production by chasing a passerby. If he can raise these guys, and they get records like Wyatt, then it’s a big challenge to have.
Line 3 (66): Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
I really wanted to get a security or next line here because I think waiting until 97 or Day 3 is waiting too long to deal with any responsibility. In the end I had my choices in Chenal, Brian Asamoah, Channing Tindall and Damone Clark on the linebacker, and Kerby Joseph, Bryan Cook or Nick Cross on defense.
Eventually I went with Chenal for a number of reasons. The Lions didn’t have a man with high speed, and they were able to close the game right away as far as I can remember. Of course, there are obvious concerns about Chenal’s dryness and restriction of publication, but I am prepared to take this risk and see if these regions can change, knowing that they may be viable in some areas.
Line 3 (97): Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
Luckily for me, I was able to have one of the guys I thought 66 fell for me at 97. Cook would have been better off for the Lions under the third round as they still need a lot of security support. I love Cook’s price at this point, and I think you can go the other way with 97 choices. Cook’s friend, Coby Bryant (CB) was here and it could be a solid solution. A solid ending was also an idea here with Jelani Woods and Cade Otton still on board.
Cook is well-matched with the Lions as a defensive midfielder who is very fast and can be a starting point if he can improve his cover ability.
Line 5 (177): Jamaree Salyer, OG, Georgia
For some reason PFN voted Salyer to be the lowest (167th on their board), so the Lions gain the depth of the offensive line by recording the best player who can start the second round. Salyer started most of his career on the left side of the Bulldogs, but he has some knowledge on the right, and he shot on the inside line within a week of Senior Bowl. Salyer is expected to move constantly as an inner wall to the next level.
6th round (181): James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech
If it weren’t for ACL shortening its season, Mitchell might consider choosing late Day 2 / first 3 days.
6’3 242 Boy
– Strong effort / strong blocking. Pops, running feet, finishing
– Big Box Fades from Slot. And Pop Pass. Screen / YAC. Hands / Speed.
Mavibes by Delanie Walker / Charles Clay pic.twitter.com/WvfMdeIfWa
– Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 13, 2020
If the lions are unable to cope with the existing ones, they should have several options at this time.
Line 6 (217): Max Borghi, RB, Washington State
With our final choice, it’s time to start running around late again. At 5-foot-9, Borghi doesn’t look like your rear horse, but he has a very good instinct as a runner of his size and will be a solid target for passing games. Think of him as a possible backlash.
I can’t wait to talk about RB Max Borghi this week on the Journey to Preparation!
5’10 197 Junior
Flexible / Impossible
Short Area Quicks
One of two FBS players having 500/500 last year (Memphis RB Gainwell)
NFL type: C. McCaffrey / D. wooden head pic.twitter.com/YlWsfqyMLN
– Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 27, 2020