Mel Kiper Latest Mock Draft Features Another Shocking Pick for Lions
By Larry Rupp
Mock drafts have been all over the place when it comes to who the Lions will draft with the No. 2 overall pick. Players like Aidan Hutchinson, Malik Willis and Kayvon Thibodeaux have all been linked to the team, but Mel Kiper has Detroit taking a shutdown cornerback in his latest 2022 NFL mock draft.
Lions Mock Draft
Kiper expects Detroit to become the new home for Cincinnati's Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner. It would be a shocking pick considering the fact that a cornerback has not been taken as high as No. 2 overall since Eric Turner went to Cleveland in 1991. This is a pressing roster need, however.
The Lions posted the sixth-worst pass defense DVOA rating in the NFL last season and allowed 244.7 yards though the air per game (No. 23 in NFL). Amani Oruwariye broke out with 6 interceptions and 11 pass breakups, but Jeff Okudah played in just one game after suffering a brutal Achilles injury.
Gardner shined during three seasons with the Bearcats, racking up 16 pass breakups and nine interceptions. He also posted 99 tackles and 3.5 sacks across a total of 33 games played. Gardner's quick feet and ball tracking skills jumped out when he crushed drills at the NFL combine in March.
This is a draft class that is full of talented defensive backs and the fact that the Lions have a second first-round pick (No. 32) makes picking Gardner right away seem like a reach. It'll be interesting to see if Kiper's projection turns into reality when Detroit is on the clock on Thursday, April 28.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.