Mock draft watch: Peter King’s final projection sees Lions trading out of No. 32

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One of the first wave of final 2022 NFL mock draft projections hit the presses on Monday, courtesy Peter King of NBC Sports. In his weekly Football Morning in America piece, King lays out his projection for the first round this Thursday.

First off, kudos to King for producing his final mock draft three days before everyone else. That takes both planning and chutzpah, not to mention trustworthy sources.

Now for King’s projections for the Lions.

At. No. 2, it’s Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson. With Georgia EDGE Travon Walker going No. 1 to Jacksonville, this is the expected pick. We’re apt to see a whole lot of this exact duo projected at the top this week. King writes,

“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.

He does include this coda on Orgeon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux,

Final note: Some late buzz about the Lions being smitten with Kayvon Thibodeaux and strongly considering him here. I just can’t see them passing on Hutchinson.

With the No. 32 pick, King projects a trade. He foresees the Atlanta Falcons trading No. 43 overall and a second-round pick in 2023 to move up and select Ole Miss QB Matt Corral. His comments logically lay out the more speculative nature of the suggestion,

This is all about a team, Atlanta, believing in a quarterback this year, and investing a chunk of draft capital in him that isn’t cost-prohibitive. (I hear the Falcons like Corral.) If you think you might have a long-term quarterback and it costs you two second-round picks, is that really a major cost? No, it’s not. This pick is not something I’m convinced about. It’s more about the concept of it. If a team wants a quarterback but isn’t positive about this group, it can still invest in one. It’s a conservative investment, keeping in mind that quarterbacks don’t come cheap. If you really want Corral or Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder, wouldn’t you think a price of two second-round picks would be worth the risk?

Some interesting notes on the picks in between:

  • Thibodeaux falls to No. 13 overall, a pick acquired by Seattle in a trade where the Houston Texans move up to No. 9 to select Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson

  • Four WRs in a row, from 8-11

  • Kenny Pickett the first QB at No. 20

  • No Malik Willis in the first round

  • Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann to the Patriots at No. 21

  • Colorado State TE Trey McBride to the Bengals at No. 31

  • Kyle Hamilton and Lewis Cine the only safeties in the first round

List

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