The Detroit Lions completed their 2022 NFL Draft, and had a critically acclaimed weekend.
Along with selecting Aidan Hutchinson No. 2 overall, the Lions traded up to No. 12 to select receive Jameson Williams.
With a focus on defense largely throughout the weekend, Detroit looks to be making improvements for the second year of Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes running the show.
Lions draft eight players in 2022 class
The Detroit Lions made a total of eight draft selections in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Things got started with taking hometown product, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, at No. 2.
Then, Detroit made a bold move by trading up from No. 32 into the No. 12 position to select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. Detroit swapped first and second round picks with the Minnesota Vikings, while also giving up a third round picks to make the deal happen.
Detroit spent the remainder of the draft mostly focusing on adding pieces to one of last season’s worst defenses.
Here’s a complete list of the Lions 2022 draft picks:
- First Round No. 2: Aidan Hutchinson, DE Michigan
- First Round No. 12: Jameson Williams, WR Alabama
- Second Round No. 14: Josh Paschal, DE Kentucky
- Third Round No. 33: Kerby Joseph, S Illinois
- Fifth Round No. 34: James Mitchell, TE Virginia Tech
- Sixth Round No. 9: Malcolm Rodriguez, ILB Oklahoma State
- Sixth Round No. 39: James Houston, OLB Jackson State
- Seventh Round No. 16: Chase Lucas, CB Arizona State
First round draft picks
The first round of the 2022 NFL Drafts saw a lot of activity with trades.
A total of 18 picks were acquired through trade when all was said and done. On Thursday night alone, a total of nine trades were made during the opening round.
Here’s a look at all of the first round picks that ended up being selected.
- 1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, Georgia DE
- 2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE
- 3. Houston Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., LSU CB
- 4. New York Jets: Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB
- 5. New York Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE
- 6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, N.C. State OT
- 7. New York Giants: Evan Neal, Alabama OT
- 8. Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, USC WR
- 9. Seattle Seahawks: Charles Cross, Mississippi State OT
- 10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, Ohio State WR
- 11. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, Ohio State WR
- 12. Detroit Lions: Jameson Williams, Alabama WR
- 13. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, Georgia DT
- 14. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S
- 15. Houston Texans: Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OG
- 16. Washington Commanders: Jahan Dotson, Penn State WR
- 17. Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, Boston College OG
- 18. Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, Arkansas WR
- 19. New Orleans Saints: Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa OT
- 20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh QB
- 21. Kansas City Chiefs: Trent McDuffie, Washington CB
- 22. Green Bay Packers: Quay Walker, Georgia ILB
- 23. Buffalo Bills: Kaiir Elam, Florida CB
- 24. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Smith, Tulsa OT
- 25. Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C
- 26. New York Jets: Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State DE
- 27. Jacksonville Jaguars: Devin Lloyd, Utah ILB
- 28. Green Bay Packers: Devonte Wyatt, Georgia DT
- 29. New England Patriots: Cole Stange, Chattanooga OG
- 30. Kansas City Chiefs: George Karlaftis, Purdue DE
- 31. Cincinnati Bengals: Daxton Hill, Michigan S
- 32. Minnesota Vikings: Lewis Cine, Georgia S
Sportsbooks take some hits in key draft markets
Sportsbooks took on a lot of wagers for the NFL Draft’s first round, and a number of liable picks landed against them.
Travon Walker actually opened at +3000 to be taken No. 1 overall by BetMGM Michigan. That climbed up to -500 at closing time. Ultimately, he had 16.6% of the tickets and 50.1% of the handle for the No. 1 selection market. He had the second-highest liability for BetMGM when selected.
Hutchinson opened at +250 to be taken No. 2 overall and closed at -220. He earned 32.9% of the tickets and 64.1% of the handle for the No. 2 market and ended as the biggest liability.
Derek Stingley Jr. was somewhat of a surprise to be taken No. 3 overall during draft week. He opened at +750 and closed at -125 before being selected. He received 22.4% of the tickets and 54.0% of the handle and ended up as the biggest liability.
Kenny Pickett ended up being the first quarterback selected despite a lot of buzz for Malik Willis leading up to the draft. Pickett was taken No. 20 overall by the Steelers. He opened at +225 to be the first QB selected and closed at +150. He had 39.1% of the tickets and 30.1% of the handle, finishing 2nd in the liability for BetMGM.
Draft grades high for Lions
It’s easy for anyone on social media to say the Detroit Lions had a good NFL Draft.
But, media pundits are pretty well in agreement on it. They liked Detroit’s bold move in the first round to attempt to get a real offensive playmaker. But, they also felt Brad Holmesdid a good job of addressing the maligned defense.
Here’s what the top media names are grading Detroit’s draft:
- Mel Kiper Jr. ESPN: B+
- Nate Davis, USA Today: A
- Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: B
- Alex Ballentine, Bleacher Report: A
- Chad Reuter, NFL.com: B+
- Connor Orr, Sports Illustrated: A
- Pro Football Focus Staff: A+
- Logan Lamorandier, All Lions: B+
Hutchinson Rookie of the Year favorite at Michigan online sportsbooks
One area where oddsmakers do expect success for the Lions is in the Defensive Rookie of the Year market.
Hutchinson is the favorite to win the honor according to DraftKings Sportsbook MI.
DraftKings lists Hutchinson at +400 shortly after the draft. Kayvon Thibodeaux of the New York Giants is next at +450. Top overall pick Travon Walker of the Jacksonville Jaguars is listed at +550.
Surprisingly Jameson Williams is right in the mix for Offensive Rookie of the Year. DraftKings lists him at +1000 to win the honor. This is despite him coming off a torn ACL back in January. A timetable for his availability in 2022 is unknown at this time.
Quarterbacks headline 2023 Draft
It’s never too early to start looking at 2023 NFL Draft.
Oddsmakers already have opened up markets to be the No. 1 selection next year.
Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud is the current favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook MI with +200 odds.
Alabama QB Bryce Young is right behind him at +225.
Alabama LB Will Anderson is also in the mix at +330, while Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson is a distant fourth at +1000.
The favorites up top are interesting, as the Detroit Lions could definitely be in the market for a new quarterback.
Detroit owns two first round picks next year, getting the Los Angeles Rams’ pick once again as part of the Matthew Stafford/Jared Goff trade.
Goff’s dead cap hit drops from $41.2 million in 2022 to just $10 million in 2023 as well. That could open the door for the Lions to part ways with him and take the QB of the future next spring.
Lions to host 2024 NFL Draft
In a few short years, the Detroit Lions will play host to the NFL Draft.
It was announced by the league on March 28, 2022 that the home of the Lions will get the honor to host the three-day event in 2024.
“The draft has become a prominent offseason event across the country, and we are excited to work with the Lions and their partners to bring the 2024 NFL Draft to the Motor City,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “With the help of Visit Detroit, the Detroit Sports Commission, and the City of Detroit the Lions passionate fan base and all visitors will be treated to an incredible three-day experience.”
The news correlated with the Lions also being announced for the 2022 edition of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which will document their training camp leading up to the regular season.
The draft will be centered in a revitalized downtown. The area around Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza will serve as the draft and the NFL Draft Experience event site.