Ugly loss vaults Lions to the driver’s seat for No. 1 overall pick in 2022 NFL draft

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It’s hard to find much to be positive about in Detroit after the Lions played one of their worst games in recent years in an ugly Week 6 loss to the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. But there might be a silver lining to getting trounced 34-11 at home.

The Lions are now in the driver’s seat to earn the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Detroit’s loss, paired with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ last-second victory in London over the Miami Dolphins, leaves Dan Campbell’s Lions as the only team without a win through Week 6.

If the draft were held today, Detroit owns the No. 1 pick. There is a handful of 1-win teams jockeying for position, a group that includes both New York teams, Miami, Houston and Jacksonville. The Philadelphia Eagles are one of four 2-4 teams, but the Eagles also own the Dolphins’ first-round pick thanks to a draft-day trade. Philadelphia would pick second, eighth and ninth — thanks to the Carson Wentz trade, the Eagles also own the Colts’ first-round pick.

Remember, having the worst record ensures that the Lions would also have the first pick in each of the seven rounds. Detroit did trade away its fourth-round pick to the Browns in the draft-day deal for LB Derrick Barnes in April, as well as its own fifth-round pick to Denver in a trade for WR Trinity Benson.

As for the top candidates for the No. 1 overall pick, Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Alabama OT Evan Neal, Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral are emerging as the front-runners.

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