2nd overall pick, taking QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
2nd overall, QB Sam Howell, North Carolina
The Lions have traded Matthew Stafford. They’ll give Jared Goff a shot, but if he fails like he’s expected to, the Lions could be drafting in the top three. If so, they’ll be targeting one of the top quarterbacks in the 2022 class.
Sam Howell threw for 38 touchdowns in 2019, which was a Division I-A record for a freshman. He doesn’t have ideal size (6-1, 225), but there’s no doubting his throwing ability.
Kevin Hanson, eatdrinkandsleepfootball.com
3rd overall, Rattler
Since 2018, two Sooner quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have been selected first overall and another (Jalen Hurts) was a second-round pick. If the Lions are picking this high in 2022, it’s possible that they could look to reset at quarterback.
If there’s a quarterback that will challenge Howell for the honor to be 2022’s QB1, it’s most likely Rattler.
Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network
2nd overall, QB Kedon Slovis, USC
The 2021 draft started with a run on quarterbacks, so why not do the same the following year? Kedon Slovis, like many quarterbacks in this class, needs a good amount of polish still but has the size and the arm to be a top selection.
Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network
Lions 1st overall (the first one not to name the Texans there)
QB Malik Willis, Liberty
We have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen with this quarterback class. There are plenty of names congested at the top, but it’s different in 2022. While the 2021 NFL Draft had an excess of high-level QB talent, the 2022 NFL Draft suffers from a lack of clarity. Any one of Spencer Rattler, Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, J.T. Daniels, or Matt Corral could be the pick. But I’m going with someone else entirely.
Malik Willis is a massive sleeper in next year’s QB class, and he has the natural talent to pace his position. A former Auburn commit, he emerged with the Liberty Flames in 2020, throwing for 2,260 yards, 20 scores, and 6 interceptions. He also ran for 944 yards and 14 scores.
Willis is an elite athlete at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, and he also has tantalizing arm talent and off-script ability. On top of that, he’s a humble, hard-working player, and he’s sure to pass character evaluations if he works his way into the QB1 conversation.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports:
2nd overall, QB Sam Howell, North Carolina
We’ll find out if Jared Goff is the answer in Detroit, and if he’s not the Lions will be in the market for a franchise QB. Howell has some of the same gunslingin’ traits as the last face of the franchise, Matthew Stafford.
Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report
2nd overall, Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
(The first one to think the Lions will suck enough to be at the top of the draft, but will still not move on from Goff – at least with their top first-round pick.)
The Detroit Lions spent the majority of the 2021 draft addressing the trenches. The team chose Oregon’s Penei Sewell, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike and North Carolina State’s Alim McNeill with its first three selections.
The continuation of this trend should occur as high as the Lions are projected to pick with yet another elite talent from the Northwest sitting near the top of the class.
Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux will challenge for the No. 1 spot in the 2022 draft. He’s a game-wrecker. The 6’5", 250-pound edge-defender has the size, length, athleticism, burst and flexibility to be considered a similar talent to previous top picks Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.
“His body is continuing to grow larger, stronger, more explosive, more flexible,” Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal told the Register-Guard’s Ryan Thorburn. "His football IQ continues to increase. …
“The combination of all those things, and with a guy that wants to win championships, it’s exactly what you want for your football team.”
Luke Easterling, USA TODAY Draft Wire:
2nd overall, Rattler
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News:
2nd overall, Slovis
The Lions will be looking for their future at the position beyond Jared Goff in 2022. Slovis should have a breakout season as an efficient and accurate passer ahead.
Glynn Morgan, PointsBet via NBC Sports:
2nd overall, QB J.T. Daniels, Georgia (Here we go again!)
Detroit can get out from under starting quarterback Jared Goff’s contract by 2023, so taking a younger less expensive option may be appealing. The Lions had 12 entertaining years with former Georgia Bulldog, Matt Stafford and may dip into that same talent pool, by taking Daniels with their first of two, day one picks.