Mock draft watch: Draft Wire goes defense first for Lions in latest 3-rounder

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Most 2022 NFL draft projections feature the Detroit Lions selecting a quarterback with their own pick, universally projected to be in the top five overall. So it’s noteworthy when someone breaks the mold and offers a different path for Detroit.

That’s what Luke Easterling and Draft Wire did in the latest 3-round 2022 mock draft. Instead of spinning the QB roulette wheel between Spencer Rattler, Malik Willis and Sam Howell, this one instead addresses the other side of the ball.

With the No. 2 overall pick, still based on current Super Bowl odds, Draft Wire opts to roll with Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux in Detroit. Thibodeaux draws comparisons to Von Miller and Jadeveon Clowney as a prospect, and that’s surely something the Lions can use on the retooling defense.

Quarterback comes with the next pick. Using the Los Angeles Rams’ first-rounder at No. 29 overall, the projection turns to Nevada QB Carson Strong. He (hypothetically) gets a legit big-play receiver in Clemson’s Justyn Ross with the No. 34 overall pick.

The final projection sees the Lions use their third-round pick on Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker. It’s a very different type of projection model, one that subscribes more to the notion that Jared Goff could be a longer-term solution at QB for Detroit than just two seasons.