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Now that we’re getting to see the Detroit Lions draft class of 2021 get into the mix at minicamp, it’s time to look ahead to who might headline the team’s next draft class. The latest 2022 mock draft from Draft Wire and editor Luke Easterling is now posted, and it’s one that loads up the Lions with premium prospects at positions of dire need.

At No. 2 overall, the Lions land promising young North Carolina QB Sam Howell. The 21-year-old junior has been the Tar Heels starter since he stepped on campus and has a lot of very appealing traits. With Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux projected as the No. 1 overall pick to the Houston Texans, Howell is the first QB in the draft.

With the Rams first-round pick, slotted at No. 30 overall based on the Super Bowl odds, Detroit tabs Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III.

A few picks later, with the No. 34 overall pick near the top of the second round, the projection goes to Miami safety Bubba Bolden.

Mock drafts at this time of year are much more about learning the names and getting an idea of the perception of long-term needs than they are about predicting with any sort of accuracy. It’s worthwhile for Lions fans to get familiar with Howell, Metchie and Bolden from this mock because they’re going to be popular projections for Detroit in the coming months.