While the Detroit Lions celebrated Week 13 with an important first victory of the 2021 NFL season, the team understands the importance of looking forward.
Detroit is clearly in a rebuild and needs to stack up high draft picks in order to turn things around, especially with a legitimate chance at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Detroit, at 1-10-1, currently owns the No. 1 pick and only the Houston Texans (2-10) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) seem like the biggest competition for that spot.
The Lions will look to add defensive pieces at the top of a draft class with less-than-favorable offensive weapons available in this year's class in that range. With that in mind, check out the three most likely draft candidates if the Lions pick No. 1 overall.
Lions No. 1 Draft Pick
1. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Most draft boards locked Kayvon Thibodeaux as the consensus top EDGE rusher in college football. But, Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson has changed that narrative all the way to a Heisman Trophy finalist bid. He's been lights out at pass-rushing, ranking second in college football with 14 sacks. Detroit desperately needs help in this area and owns just 19 sacks (30th) on the year.
2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
If the Lions want to go with an EDGE rusher with a slightly higher ceiling, they'll look no further than Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux was the clear-cut No. 1 draft prospect entering the season but an early ankle injury saw him miss time in September, and open up the window for Hutchinson. Still, Thibodeaux has the makings of a bonafide star from his exceptional athleticism to his 19 career sacks in three years at Oregon.
3. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Another name rising on draft boards is LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. Detroit's need for a cornerback doesn't outweigh the need for an elite EDGE rusher, but don't count out Stingley Jr. Although Stingley missed most of the season with injury, he's the highest-graded cornerback on most draft boards because of an ability to play versatile coverages. Detroit's secondary allows 249.8 passing yards per contest (21st) and a league-worst 7.5 net yards gained per pass attempt.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. 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.