Saturday, May 21, 2022

2022 NFL Draft: Dan Campbell appears to hint that Lions will not select QB with No. 2 pick

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USA Today

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spent his first three draft picks last year on “kneecap biters” — or difference-makers on the offensive and defensive fronts. With the 2022 draft class featuring several star pass rushers and offensive linemen, the Lions could again take a lineman with the No. 2 overall pick.

There are some out there who believe the Lions could surprise the league by taking the first quarterback off the board, such as Liberty’s Malik Willis. While Detroit has a few weeks before making an official decision, something Campbell said recently makes it appear as though the Lions won’t go the quarterback route at No. 2 overall.

“You want a guy who can come in and he’s a Day 1 starter,” Campbell said, via the Lions’ official website. “That’s really what you’re trying to acquire. A guy that you feel like can come in, he’s going to be able to have solid production for you. You’d like to believe by the time you hit your first game that this player is starting for you and he’s going to be able to produce.”

Willis is considered by some to be the top quarterback in this draft class — mostly because of his upside. He’s -170 over at Caesars Sportsbook to be the first signal-caller selected later this month. While Willis is a playmaker with a rocket arm, it may be best for him to sit awhile behind a veteran. Judging from Campbell’s recent comments, it doesn’t sound like Willis is a guy Detroit could be targeting.

The Lions are slated to start Jared Goff under center again in 2022. The former No. 1 overall pick of the Rams went 3-10-1 as the starter in 2021, and passed for 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Goff flashed at times, and completed a career-high 67.2% of his passes with a 1.6% interception rate — the second-lowest of his career. It remains to be seen if he’s the franchise quarterback the Lions want, but he should get another chance to prove himself in 2022.

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