Mock Draft Pre-Combine is my second mock, and there is a choice to make on what is the right choice for the Detroit Lions with the second pick overall.
Is it sticking with the pass rusher? Or is it safety first?
Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan was my pick for the Lions in my first mock draft.
But Kyle Hamilton, an elite safety prospect from Notre Dame, is also on the board. Hamilton would upgrade what has been a problem position.
There is also a decision for the Lions with the 32nd pick -- the last pick in the first round. Do the Lions take one of the quarterbacks who elevated their stock at the Senior Bowl for development, or take a player who gives them more immediate value?
Following are the picks for my second mock draft, with the Combine workouts and testing about to begin. Trades are not allowed.
As always feel free to disagree.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-14:
Status: Watching Bengals QB Joe Burrow get battered throughout the playoffs -- with seven sacks in the Super Bowl loss to the Rams -- solidified the priority of protecting QB Trevor Lawrence.
Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama. Protect the franchise QB.
Mock 1 pick: Neal. No change.
2. Detroit Lions, 3-13-1:
Status: The need for a pass rusher is obvious. The Lions had only 30 sacks in 2021. Hutchinson would be a good addition. No one should complain if the Lions take Hutchinson.
But Hamilton also is a superior prospect. At 6-3, 218 with speed and athleticism, he would add a valuable dimension to the secondary with the ability to roam sideline to sideline.
In 31 career games at Notre Dame, Hamilton has 7.5 tackles for loss, eight interceptions and 24 passes defended -- with seven passes defended coming in a 2021 season shortened to seven games because of injury.
Pick: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame.
Mock 1 pick: Hutchinson.
View photos of the defensive back prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
3. Houston Texans, 4-13:
Status: Looking for a pass rusher, the Lions' switch to Hamilton gives them the best on the board.
Pick: Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan -- 14.5 sacks in 2021. Not the next J.J. Watt, but good enough to fill a need.
Mock 1 pick: Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon.
4. New York Jets, 4-13:
Status: The consensus says the Jets will go for defense, and the question is whether they'll shift their focus to a pass rusher.
Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU. Passing on the pass rusher.
Mock 1 pick: Stingley. No change.
5. New York Giants, 4-13:
Status: New GM (Joe Schoen) and head coach (Brian Daboll) are likely to build from the middle for a team with one winning season in the last 10.
Pick: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State.
Mock 1 pick: Ekwonu. No change.
6. Carolina Panthers, 5-12:
Status: Quarterbacks should come into the discussion at this point because of the impression some made at the Senior Bowl. Carolina is a team in need.
Pick: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh. Closed out his career with a big 2021 season -- 42 TD passes vs. seven picks.
Mock 1 pick: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State.
7. New York Giants, from Bears, 6-11:
Status: Offense with their first pick, defense with the second, makes a good start for the new GM-head coach tandem.
Pick: Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon. He had 19 sacks in 31 career games.
Mock 1 pick: Hamilton -- to Lions at No. 2.
8. Atlanta Falcons, 7-10:
Status: Last in the league with 18 sacks in 2021 and minus 146 in points differential shows where they need help.
Pick: ILB Devin Lloyd, Utah. Impressive stats: 43 career tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks. In 2021 he had 22 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Mock 1 pick: Lloyd. No change.
9. Denver Broncos, 7-10:
Status: Solidly built on both sides of the ball, should be ready to contend with a veteran QB for new head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Pick: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State.
Mock 1 pick: Pickett.
10. New York Jets, from Seahawks 7-10:
Status: QB Zach Wilson gets a big-play receiver to start his second season with the Jets.
Pick: WR Treylon Burks. Arkansas. Good size at 6-3, 225 to go with speed.
Mock 1 pick: Burks. No change.
11. Washington Commanders, 7-10:
Status: A name change for the franchise -- from Football Team to Commanders -- and a QB in the draft.
Pick: Matt Corral, Ole Miss.
Mock 1 pick: Corral. No change.
12. Minnesota Vikings, 8-9:
Status: Secondary is a primary target for new head coach Kevin O'Connell.
Pick: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati.
Mock 1 pick: Gardner. No change.
View photos of the running back prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
13. Cleveland Browns, 8-9:
Status: Once a strong suit, wide receiver needs patching.
Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State.
Mock 1 pick: Wilson. No change.
14. Baltimore Ravens, 8-9:
Status: They ran out of players in 2021. It's a coin flip on which side of the line gets attention. Heads ... it's offense.
Pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa. A value pick.
Mock 1 pick: Edge rusher George Karlaftis, Purdue.
15. Philadelphia Eagles, from Dolphins 9-8:
Status: Give QB Jalen Hurts something to help him pass more often and run less often.
Pick: WR Drake London, Southern Cal.
Mock 1 pick: London. No change.
16. Philadelphia Eagles, from Colts 9-8:
Status: Switch to defense with the second of three picks in the first round.
Pick: Edge rusher David Ojabo, Michigan.
Mock 1 pick: Ojabo. No change.
17. Los Angeles Chargers, 9-8:
Status: They gave up 2,361 rushing yards in 2021, third most in the league.
Pick: Edge rusher Jermaine Johnson, Florida St.
Mock 1 pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia.
18. New Orleans Saints, 9-8:
Status: The only receiver they drafted in the last three years was a seventh rounder in 2021.
Pick: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama. Good pick, despite injury.
Mock 1 pick: Williams. No change.
View photos of the wide receiver prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
19. Philadelphia Eagles, 9-8:
Status: One more for defense after receiver and pass rusher with first two picks.
Pick: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia.
Mock 1 pick: Dean. No change.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers, 9-7-1:
Status: Looking for beef up front, and a QB to replace Ben Roethlisberger. Head coach Mike Tomlin usually finds a way.
Pick: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina.
Mock 1 pick: Howell. No change.
21. New England Patriots, 10-7:
Status: Pass defense could not hold up late last season.
Pick: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington.
Mock 1 pick: McDuffie. No change.
22. Las Vegas Raiders, 10-7:
Status: Adding speed at wide receiver is a priority.
Pick: Jahan Dotson, Penn State. Undersized speedster.
Mock 1 pick: Dotson. No change.
23. Arizona Cardinals, 11-6:
Status: QB Kyler Murray is unhappy. A versatile offensive lineman might make him feel better.
Pick: G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M.
Mock 1 pick: Green. No change.
24. Dallas Cowboys, 12-5:
Status: Offensive line and run game no longer dominate.
Pick: Center Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa.
Mock 1 pick: Linderbaum. No change.
25. Buffalo Bills, 11-6:
Status: A good team that should be happy with everything except the way the 2021 season ended in the playoffs.
Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson.
Mock 1 pick: Booth. No change.
View photos of the offensive line prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
26. Tennessee Titans, 12-5:
Status: Titans' offense could use a receiver.
Pick: WR George Pickens, Georgia.
Mock 1 pick: Pickens. No change.
27. Tampa Bay Bucs, 13-4:
Status: Rebuilding at the top, with Tom Brady's retirement. Forget finding another one just like him, but there's a good receiver who's been on the board too long.
Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State.
Mock 1 pick: DL Logan Hall, Houston.
28. Green Bay Packers, 13-4:
Status: The defense showed some cracks late in the season.
Pick: DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia.
Mock 1 pick: Wyatt. No change.
29. Miami Dolphins, from 49ers, 10-7:
Status: A tumultuous offseason for the Dolphins, to say the least. Solid defenders are still on the board.
Pick: DL Logan Hall, Houston.
Mock 1 pick: DL DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M.
30. Kansas City Chiefs, 12-5:
Status: It must be tempting for the Chiefs to add another skilled player to the offense, but the defense needs immediate help.
Pick: Edge rusher George Karlaftis, Purdue.
Mock 1 pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida.
31. Cincinnati Bengals, 10-7:
Status: No discussion needed on where the Bengals' offseason focus should be. It's protection for QB Joe Burrow.
Pick: OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan.
Mock 1 pick: Raimann. No change.
32. Detroit Lions, from Rams, 12-5:
Status: Options are available with the last pick in the first round.
An obvious one is a trade. The last chance to apply the fifth-year option is one reason for a team to move up. The Lions are likely to get offers, and as GM Brad Holmes said about the second pick overall, the Lions are open for business.
Wide receiver is a major need for the Lions, but this year's talent pool isn't quite as deep or star studded as last year's.
Quarterbacks were on display in the Senior Bowl, and one who showed potential is still on the board. He fits the Lions' rebuilding program.
Pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty. He's lacking in size at 6 feet, 221 pounds, but he's athletic with a live arm.
Mock 1 pick: Olave.