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Greg Cosell analyzes Lions' 2022 draft class

Executive producer and analyst for NFL Matchup and senior producer at NFL Films Greg Cosell has been kind enough to break down the Lions' draft class for in each of the past nine seasons, and has agreed to do so for a 10th year.

Cosell's opinions are based on countless hours watching the All-22 film and evaluating these prospects. He is one of the most honest evaluators in the business, and is well respected among NFL circles.

You can follow him on Twitter at @gregcosell.

Here's what he had to say about the Lions' 2022 draft class:

(Note: Cosell only evaluated Detroit's top three picks among the players he evaluated in this year's draft cycle.)

DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan, Round 1 (No. 2 overall)

Cosell: "Hutchinson is a strong prospect as you project and transition him to the NFL. He possesses excellent body length. His arm length may be shorter than desired, but he plays long and consistently showed outstanding quickness off the ball and explosive short area quickness within the two/three-yard metric needed to win as a pass rusher. He does not have ideal flexibility and bend off the edge, but his game is predicated much more on short area explosiveness and power and highly refined and strong heavy hands with rapid fire movements.

"What stood out was how well coordinated Hutchinson's feet and hands were as a pass rusher allowing him to beat offensive tackles with a lethal combination of explosive foot quickness and perfectly timed hand strength and arm moves. What consistently was evident was Hutchinson had a game plan for how he wanted to attack offensive tackles and he approached it as a four-quarter exercise – never was that more apparent than versus Ohio State LT Nicholas Petit-Frere.

"Hutchinson also showed the ability to play the run effectively using his hands and arm extension to keep his feet clean and maintain the balance and body control and power to squeeze gaps and close down running lanes. Hutchinson will fit seamlessly into multiple front looks whether they be even or odd fronts – there were snaps he lined up at 4i in a three-point stance and made plays in the run game – and he could also move inside as a pass rusher in sub fronts and be used at times as a standup Joker."

WR Jameson Williams, Alabama, Round 1 (No. 12 overall)

Cosell: "Williams' 2021 season ended in the national championship game with a torn ACL, but his tape showed him to be the most explosive vertical receiver in college football with the accelerating deep speed to get on top of and run away from corners consistently and the easy ability to track the ball. Williams possesses a natural quickness and explosiveness to his movement that was evident in his route quickness and his ability to separate on intermediate routes in addition to his outstanding run-after-catch ability.

"While Williams' calling card was his vertical explosiveness, he also showed some detail and nuance to his route running with an understanding of how to use his vertical stem to threaten corners and then snap off routes with needed separation. Williams lined up both outside and the slot in Alabama's offense and my sense is he will be a multiple location receiver in the NFL with the emphasis on getting him free access off the ball so he can maximize his speed and explosiveness.

"The question some will have will be his ability to make tough catches in traffic and make contested catches given his slighter frame and less than desired play strength, and that's a question that will get to the heart of what Williams can be in the NFL. Is he a true No. 1 or is he more of the explosive complement? The bottom line is Williams is a big play waiting to happen and those kinds of explosive traits are always in demand in the NFL.

"Williams was a fun player to evaluate. There are not many receivers with his flat-out vertical speed and big play ability and that makes him an impact receiver and game changer."

DE Josh Paschal, Kentucky, Round 2 (No. 46 overall)

Cosell: "Paschal lined up in multiple positions in Kentucky's defensive fronts and his versatility to play both in 2-gap and 1-gap/odd and even front alignments will be seen as highly advantageous in an NFL in which multiple looks, especially in sub defenses, are more prevalent than ever. The question is whether they see and project Paschal as an edge pass rusher in sub fronts given his length and lack of true bend and flexibility.

"Shaq Barrett could be seen as a realistic comparison coming out of Colorado State. Barrett's pre-draft measurables were 6-foot-1 ⅜ and 251 pounds with a 4.73 40 yard dash. Paschal is much more explosive with his vertical jump and broad jump. Barrett went undrafted in 2014 after a senior season with 12 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss.

"Paschal has traits that absolutely transition well to the NFL with his strong heavy hands and explosive quickness and suddenness off the ball to win early in the down and that might project better as an interior pass rusher in sub fronts as opposed to an edge pass rusher. Overall, Paschal is a good player and a strong prospect, and it will be interesting to see how he is deployed in the NFL, but my sense is he will be an ascending talent who will continue to get better at the next level."

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