Top 5 Best Rookies for the Detroit Lions

Jay Mote, Journalism I Student

This is a list of the Top 5 Best Rookies for the Detroit Lions to select first overall in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft.

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux
  2. Kyle Hamilton
  3. Aidan Hutchinson
  4. Matt Corral
  5. Derek Stingley Jr.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is the scariest player in college football right now. He is really explosive and quick off the edge. He is the projected #1 overall pick for a reason, he has insane potential and could give this defense an identity. A premiere edge rusher who could finally bring some stability to an uncertain pass rushing unit. The injury he suffered this year might be his only drawback.

Kyle Hamilton is the other of Notre Dame’s defensive juggernauts. While Hutchinson has pressured the quarterback, Hamilton has been busy doing just about everything else. Being 6’4” 220 lbs allows Hamilton to play in the box, similar to a linebacker. He also possesses great athleticism and can make plays on jump balls using his unofficial 40” vertical. He did suffer an injury this season so that may hurt his draft stock. A stud athlete who can play so many roles in any type of scheme you want to run. What’s not to like?

Aidan Hutchinson has been a nightmare for opposing offenses because of how clean his pass moves are. He has had a number of eye-catching performances and pairing him with a defensive-minded head coach like Dan Campbell could compliment each other really well.

Matt Corral has made a case to be the best quarterback in this draft class. The Lions have not settled on Jarred Goff and maybe used him as a bridge quarterback between Matt Stafford and their franchise guy. Corral has a big arm, which is a nightmare for defenses if he gets a receiver with game-breaking speed or 50/50 catch ability. The downside is, he could have a low floor if he ends up being a bust and the long plays downfield could end up being interceptions.

Derek Stingley Jr. is the best cornerback in the class and the only competitor is Ahmad Garner. However, Stingley has played better competition throughout his career as could really help the secondary. He is a tough, physical corner who typically played pressman during his time at LSU. A strong man-to-man guy is always wanted no matter which team you’re talking about. There are some complications though, Stingley has had some trouble on in breaking routes and the Lions did spend the third overall pick in 2020 on Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah. Okudah had a shaky rookie year and an ACL tear has kept him out of most of his sophomore season. It is hard to tell if Detroit is done with Okudah, but they will most likely give him more time to develop which hurts Stingley’s chances of getting his name called first.