Mock draft watch: Daniel Jeremiah’s 1st projections show a surprise QB in the 1st for the Lions

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One of the most popular and well-known NFL draft analysts, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, has released his first set of projections for the 2022 NFL draft. Jeremiah’s mock has a predictable choice for the first Detroit Lions pick and a surprising one for the team’s second selection in the first round.

At No. 2 overall, Jeremiah sticks with the conventional wisdom and rolls with Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson. The Jaguars took Alabama OT Evan Neal with the first pick, leaving the Lions to choose between Hutchinson, Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Jeremiah is very bullish on Hutchinson,

The Lions shouldn’t waste any time turning in the card if the Jags pass on Hutchinson. The Heisman Trophy runner-up is a perfect fit for their needs and the culture they are building.

The second Lions selection, the one acquired from the Los Angeles Rams, goes to Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. It’s an interesting choice.

Willis had the first-round buzz early in the college season, but his performance in a couple of prominent games for Liberty cooled the momentum. His combined line in the games against ranked teams, Ole Miss and Louisiana, in back-to-back games: 30-for-59, 335 yards, two TDs, five INTs and 47 carries for 98 yards (sacks count as runs and he was sacked 16 times). He’s been left out of the first round in most of the recent mock drafts.

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The Lions will coach Willis during the Senior Bowl, which will give them a chance to see if Jeremiah’s proclamation that the Flames passer “has the most upside” of any quarterback in this draft is something they believe.