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MOCK DRAFT WATCH: Final predictions

The NFL draft is just a day away, and then we can finally put all the prognostications and guess work behind us.

The mock draft cycle has been in high gear for months now, but most of the analysts have made their final and best guesses as to what the Detroit Lions might do with the No. 2 and No. 32 picks Thursday night.

Here's a final look at the mock drafts:

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: Walker has the athleticism and scheme versatility to fit in with any of the teams at the top of the draft.

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (No. 32)

Why: In this slot, Dean would be the best value pick of the first round.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Dan Campbell's squad fought hard all year in 2021. Adding Hutchinson at a position of need does nothing but bolster the culture the Lions are building.

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (No. 32)

Why: I have a funny feeling that the Lions may get frisky and jump up the board for a QB at some point, but if they sit tight, Corral has plenty of talent to become their future starter.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Travon Walker, DL, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: Adding a versatile front-line athlete with explosive speed, quickness and power will help the Lions create more pressure on passing downs.

Arnold Ebiketie, Edge, Penn State (No. 32)

Why: The Lions need more athletic defenders on the field to have a chance to close the gap on their rivals. Ebiketie flashes impressive first-step quickness and closing speed as a bend-and-burst rusher off the edge.

Charles Davis, NFL.com

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Hutchinson is the top-rated player in the draft on many prognosticators' boards. The Lions and their fans will be more than happy to welcome him to the Motor City with their signature greeting of "What up, doe?!"

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (No. 32)

Why: Pickett is the top-rated quarterback for many evaluators, and the Lions select him at No. 32, which has been a landing spot for QBs in recent years thanks to the fifth-year option.

Peter Schrager, NFL.com

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: If the Jags go with Travon Walker, Detroit won't waste a second turning in this draft card. Local ties aside, Hutchinson is everything the Lions are looking for in a franchise building block and future 10-year starter up front.

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (No. 32)

Why: Corral has fans around the league and conceivably could go as high as the top 10. I think Detroit grabs a quarterback (for the fifth-year option) with the 32nd pick.

Maurice Jones Drew, NFL.com

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Hutchinson stays in Michigan to give Dan Campbell's defense a proven player with elite tools. His presence immediately improves Detroit's pass rush and run defense.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State (No. 32)

Why: The Lions add an explosive weapon in the passing game to help Jared Goff.

Adan Rank, NFL.com

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon (No. 2)

Why: He's got that swagger that might turn off a lot of teams, but that's the kind of player who would thrive under Dan Campbell.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (No. 32)

Why: Look at what I did for you, Detroit! I told people to fade Pickett and now you get to swoop in here and grab your quarterback of the future.

Rhett Lewis, NFL.com

Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: One of the big winners of this pre-draft process ends up as the No. 2 overall pick. With freakish athletic ability and the potential to provide far more pass-rushing production in Detroit than we saw during his Georgia career, Walker fills a big need for the Lions.

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (No. 32)

Why: The presence of a capable starter in Jared Goff makes a QB selection here even more likely, at least in my eyes. Goff can be the bridge that allows a developmental process for a young QB. Plus, you get the extra season of cost control with the fifth-year option. Howell feels like Dan Campbell's kind of quarterback. It was easy to see his toughness when you watched him pinball off would-be tacklers in the run game this past season, especially against Miami.

Cynthia Frelund, NFL.com

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (No. 2)

Why: Hamilton's versatility makes him the best selection for Detroit at No. 2 overall, as he has the potential to impact several phases of the game and areas of the field.

David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan (No. 32)

Why: Ojabo slides in this mock due to the torn Achilles suffered at his pro day. Considering that I am selecting for wins in 2022, the fact that he's still a first-rounder says a lot about how much my model believes in his raw ability, because it is uncertain how many games he will be able to play as a rookie.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (No. 2)

Why: Head coach Dan Campbell told local media earlier this month he wanted the Lions to get an immediate contributor with the No. 2 pick, while acknowledging GM Brad Holmes has a responsibility to look toward the future. Pickett can fit both of those descriptions, as his experience will allow him to play as a rookie if veteran starter Jared Goff is injured or ineffective.

Trade to Seattle (No. 32) who pick QB Sam Howell

Peter King, NBC Sports

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: "A real Dan Campbell player," one NFL GM told me about the steadiest player in this draft. Campbell got a lot of people to chuckle when he talked about wanting players who want to bite kneecaps. It was his way of saying he wants guys who love football, who don't take off plays, who won't allow the Lions to be downtrodden anymore. Ask scouts about Hutchinson and they'll tell you that's how he played every one of his 43 career games in Ann Arbor.

Trade to Atlanta (No. 32) who pick QB Matt Corral.

View photos from offseason workouts on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Nate Davis, USA Today

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 1 via trade with Jaguars).

Why: The Jags might find a prospective buyer in Detroit, which currently sits in the No. 2 spot. Even if Hutchinson is the best player available, there's not much of a delta between him and the next guy. However the Plymouth, Michigan, native and University of Michigan blueblood could have unique value to a Lions organization that lacks a face of the franchise.

Trade to Seattle who pick QB Desmond Ridder.

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (No. 2)

Why: Can I interest you in a 6-foot-3 corner with long arms and 4.41 40-yard dash speed who didn't allow a single touchdown in coverage in college? That's Gardner.

Lewis Cine, S, Georgia (No. 32)

Why: Cine is the fifth Georgia defender in the top 32 picks here (with more to come). He's a good cover safety who is rising after he ran a 4.37 40 at the combine.

Todd McShay, ESPN

Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: Detroit struggled with its pass rush even more than Jacksonville last season, recording just 30 sacks and getting pressure on 25.9% of opponent dropbacks. Both numbers ranked in the bottom four. Walker might not have the career sack production (9.5 across 36 career games), but he has the versatility and explosion to anchor the Lions' defensive line.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (No. 32)

Why: Ridder isn't a sure thing, and he has too many ball-location misses, but his strong arm, good mobility and high-end ability to read the field make him an intriguing pick to cap off Day 1.

Matt Miller, ESPN

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: The Lions are in a great position to simply draft whichever top defensive end the Jaguars don't take. They just so happen to get lucky enough -- much like last year when offensive tackle Penei Sewell fell to them at No. 7 -- that the player falling is their likely top target. Hutchinson's production, top-tier testing numbers during the pre-draft process, relentless pass-rushing style, and local roots make him an ideal pick for coach Dan Campbell's team.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State (No. 32)

Why: One of the weakest wide receiver rooms in the league would get a major upgrade with the shifty, speedy Dotson joining the fold.

Ryan Wilson CBS Sports

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Hutchinson starred at Michigan and now he moves a few miles down the road to join the Lions. He's the best player in this class and talk that he has already reached his ceiling is just that. He's 21 and he's only going to get better.

Daxton Hill, S, Michigan (No. 32)

Why: The Lions would be taking two Wolverines in this scenario who would really be upgrading their defense. Hill is a rangy safety who can run. They need that. They could go quarterback here, but I think they can pass until pick No. 34.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Easy selection for the Lions. They keep Hutchinson local and add an alpha rusher to their defense.

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (No. 32)

Why: The Lions are happy to grab Howell with a fifth-year option at this stage in Round 1.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: If Jacksonville ultimately reverses course and takes Walker No. 1 overall, no one would be happier than Detroit. The Lions would keep a Wolverine home at a position of need. Hutchinson also checks the box of being a cultural fit.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (No. 32)

Why: Detroit takes advantage of the fifth-year option at quarterback by selecting Ridder. I think the Lions are trending towards a position where they are not going to be picking as highly next season so it is difficult to project whether or not they would be able to get a quarterback with any level of certainty.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: They land a local kid who can help a pass rush in major need of help. Hutchinson may never been a 16-sack type of player, but he can consistently be a 10-sack guy.

Daxton Hill, S, Michigan (No. 32)

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon (No. 2)

Why: The Lions have reportedly done a ton of work on Thibodeaux. In addition to GM Brad Holmes going to an Oregon game this fall, Detroit met with him at the combine and then had a large contingent at his pro day. Coach Dan Campbell is also a big fan, referring to Thibodeaux as an explosive athlete and playmaker who's "pretty special on tape."

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (No. 32)

Why: Jared Goff doesn't appear to be the long-term answer, so the Lions select a proven winner in Ridder to succeed him whenever the Cincinnati product is ready.

Rob Rang, Fox Sports

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Almost surely selecting one of the top three edge rushers with this pick, the Lions would be happy if the local product, Hutchinson, is still on the board. Not only does Hutchinson check off a huge area of need for the Lions, but he also plays with the intensity and physicality that coach Dan Campbell craves.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (No. 32)

Why: Whether it's Detroit or another team moving up, I expect this pick to be spent on a quarterback due to the fifth-year option on contracts teams get with players selected in the first round. One of the biggest concerns with Pickett – namely, his small hands – would be somewhat mitigated playing inside in Ford Field, and he might very well be an upgrade over Jared Goff immediately.

Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Pair the guy with the Middle Ages ground warfare face paint and Dan Campbell together and you really have something, no? Hutchinson's film was a blast to scroll through, though the Georgia game gave me some momentary pause.

Drake London, WR, USC (No. 27; via trade with Bucs)

Why: The Lions, who own pick No. 32, move up ever so slightly to park ahead of the Chiefs and Packers, two teams that also need wide receiver help. While I couldn't find a place for London anywhere else in the draft, he makes a good deal of sense in Detroit, where his physical skills can help in tight coverage.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Travon Walker, DL, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: The Lions also feel like they're going for defensive impact and the decision for Brad Holmes, Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn will come down to the 3-4 hybrid playmaker Walker, do-everything safety Kyle Hamilton, or high-ceiling edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. Walker can deliver in multiple spots for their front, from end to tackle to even outside linebacker at times.

David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan (No. 32)

Why: The Lions can still come out of the first round pass rusher from their home-state school in Ann Arbor even if Hutchinson goes off the board at No. 1 to the Jaguars. They can afford to be patient with the explosive and relentless Ojabo returning from a ruptured Achilles' suffered at Michigan's pro day.

Jordan Heck, Sporting News

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon (No. 2)

Why: Kayvon Thibodeaux is another realistic choice here in terms of talent. But recently reports have indicated that head coach Dan Campbell doesn't think Thibodeaux will fit into the culture he's building at Detroit. The virtual GM doesn't really care about stuff like that, so it makes sense why Thibodeaux went here.

Daxton Hill, S, Michigan (No. 32)

Why: It's like the virtual GM knew about the Michigan-to-Lions connection with this pick. While Hill isn't necessarily a favorite to land here, he's definitely in the realm of possibilities. The Lions can use help wherever, so drafting a Michigan player makes a lot of sense.

View photos of NFL prospect Aidan Hutchinson.

Jacob Camenker, Sporting News

Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: It seems like the Lions are going to take whichever of the defensive ends that the Jaguars don't take. It's hard to argue with them taking Walker in this scenario, as Walker's athleticism (4.51 40-yard dash, 6.89 3-cone drill, 4.32 shuttle) gives him a very high ceiling. That gives him bust potential, but the Lions can take a chance on his upside as they continue to rebuild.

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (No. 32)

Why: Dan Campbell loves guys that play hard, fast and with an edge. He'll have a few options to choose from at this point, but his best come from the Georgia defense. Dean is a bit small at 5-11, 229 pounds, but he is a great athlete who can be a sideline-to-sideline playmaker.

Austin Gayle, Pro Football Focus

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: Hutchinson is PFF's No. 1 overall player in the 2022 NFL Draft class and the No. 1 overall player on The Athletic consensus board. The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Michigan native is a sprint-the-card-in type for Dan Campbell and the Lions if Baalke balks in the first 10 minutes of Round 1.

Quay Walker, LB, Georgia (No. 32)

Why: Put simply, the league is a lot higher on Georgia off-ball linebacker Quay Walker than the media. Standing at 6-foot-4, 241 pounds with a 96th-percentile wingspan (79 7/8 inches), Walker is a less explosive Jamin Davis with better film. Teams covet his size-athleticism combination at the linebacker position and very well could covet him over his much smaller teammate Nakobe Dean.

Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon (No. 2)

Why: I think the hype surrounding Walker is real, but any time I go back to the tape, I see a phenomenally good pass-rusher in Thibodeaux, who seems to be the target of a negativity campaign as the draft approaches. He possesses elite burst and twitchiness at the position and can win in a variety of different ways.

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (No. 32)

Why: Burks is a confusing prospect. His workout numbers were average — even adjusting for his size — but his tape shows a consistently explosive playmaker who could have been even more productive with better quarterback play.

Tej Seth, Pro Football Focus

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon (No. 2)

Why: The Lions' pass-rush grade of 64.7 last season was good for 29th in the NFL, so an EDGE should be the easy pick here. Since Aidan Hutchinson was off the board, the decision came down to Kayvon Thibodeaux vs. Travon Walker. While Walker has a 99th-percentile athletic profile, it's hard to ignore that Thibodeaux's true pass-rush win rate was 24% last season while Walker's was only 10%.

Daxton Hill, S, Michigan (No. 32)

Why: An obvious opportunity presents itself here: The Lions could potentially take a QB and have him on a rookie deal with a fifth-year option. However, given the lackluster quality of the QBs in this class, we will pass in order to improve the Lions' secondary. Hill is a tremendous athlete with a 4.38 40, 6.57 3-cone and 4.06 short shuttle.

Brad Spielberger, Pro Football Focus

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: This would be a dream scenario for the Lions, as the hometown hero stays in Michigan and provides a major boost to Detroit's front seven. Lions edge defenders Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris – currently slated as the top two players on the edge after big-ticket free agent Trey Flowers was a cap casualty this offseason – are much better suited as Nos. 2 and 3 options, respectively.

Trade with Atlanta who pick QB Matt Corral

View photos from offseason workouts on Monday, April 25, 2022.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football

Travon Walker, DL, Georgia (No. 2)

Why: I've slotted Drake London here since the combine, and he was in the lead for the No. 2 pick. Now, Travon Walker has become the favorite. There's a chance Walker may not even be here, given that Jacksonville believes he has more upside than Aidan Hutchinson.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (No. 32)

Why: Yes, this is possible. Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn dropped into the 20s when they were expected to be top-10 picks, and both were better prospects than Kenny Pickett. The Pittsburgh product has some flaws (tiny hands, 17 Wonderlic score), and teams we've spoken to are turned off by these things.

Charlie Campbell, Walter Football

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan (No. 2)

Why: I believe Detroit will take Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker, whichever one the Jaguars pass on. The Lions could use another edge rusher and Hutchinson is a very safe pick to turn into a quality starter for them.

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (No. 32)

Why: The Lions need a long-term difference maker at linebacker, and Dean is a great fit for the character, intangibles, and team-first culture that is being cultivated in Detroit. Dean is a dangerous blitzer who comes up with splash plays in the clutch.

Luke Easterling, DraftWire

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon (No. 2)

Why: Some might expect Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson here, and while that wouldn't be surprising, the Lions may opt for the pass rusher with the higher ceiling here. Thibodeaux was limited by injury in 2021, but at full strength, can be a dominant defender who is still scratching the surface of his potential.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Cincinnati (No. 27; trade up with Bucs)

Why: It's possible the Lions are planning to wait until next year to find Jared Goff's eventual replacement, but if Pickett lasts this long, it wouldn't be surprising for them to make a short jump up the board to grab him. He's a polished, experienced passer who could take the reins sooner than later, and be worth giving up a mid-round pick.

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