The NFL Scouting Combine starts this week and by the end of the event the 32 teams in the NFL will have all the medical data and on-field testing numbers for the 324 draft-eligible participants here in Indianapolis. This is a big step in the pre-draft process.
Here's a look at five things to watch as the Lions front office and coaching staff prepare for the annual evaluation of this year's NFL Draft prospects.
1. Holmes and Campbell availability
Lions general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell are expected to speak to the media in Indianapolis.
Detroit's first task this offseason was to focus on coaching and the evaluations at the Senior Bowl in early February. They got an up-close look at a lot of the senior prospects there.
Now the focus turns to the Combine. What do they view as the strengths in this draft? Where do they think the roster needs the most help this offseason? These are usually informative sessions on a wide range of topics.
View photos of the running back prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
2. Hutchinson vs. Thibodeaux
The Lions had the second worst pass-rush win rate in the NFL last season, and their 30 sacks were the third fewest in the NFL. They expect to get Romeo Okwara back from an Achilles injury, but they could certainly look to add an edge rusher or two in this draft cycle.
Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux are the consensus top two best edge rushers in the draft, and the two names most commonly mocked to Detroit at No. 2.
Hutchinson has the size and production to make him one of the top prospects in this draft. Thibodeaux is an explosive athlete with a really big upside. Who tests better this week? Who impresses the most in their interview with the Lions brass?
3. Can Kyle Hamilton make a case at No. 2?
The Notre Dame safety has terrific size (6-4, 220), length and range. He's the kind of hybrid defender NFL teams love to employ these days. He's expected to test really well this week and start to make a case for being the best pure player in this class.
The Lions have a big need at safety, and they put a lot on their safeties in Aaron Glenn's defense. Will Hamilton put himself into the mix at No. 2 with a good week in Indy?
4. Wide receiver shuffle
This isn't as stout a wide receiver class as last year, when three players went in the Top 10 picks, but it's still a pretty good class deep with talent.
The Lions are obviously on the lookout to add to that room this offseason. Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El said at the Senior Bowl he'd like the team to sign a free agent receiver and potentially draft two more to increase competition.
There's a lot of potential for movement at receiver this week as the speed and agility testing begins. Which receivers will impress the most and move up draft boards?
View photos of the offensive line prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
5. NFC North news
Brian Gutekunst (Packers GM), Matt LaFleur (Packers HC), Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Vikings GM), Kevin O'Connell (Vikings HC) and Matt Eberflus (Bears HC) are all scheduled to speak the media assembled at the Combine.
This will be a good first look for Lions fans into the philosophies for new regimes in Chicago and Minnesota. I'm sure Aaron Rodgers and the tough spot the Packers are in when it comes to their salary cap will be topics of discussion in the media sessions with Gutekunst and LaFleur.
It's always good to stay on top of what's happening in the division, so we'll be sure to keep everyone up to date.