NFL draft: Jets, Lions will coach Senior Bowl teams
The 2022 Senior Bowl announced that the staffs of the Detroit Lions and New York Jets will coach at this year's game in Mobile, Ala., kickstarting the first major offseason step toward the 2022 NFL draft.
Practices for the National and American teams begin on Feb. 1, with the game happening on Feb. 5, broadcast live on NFL Network at 2:30 ET.
Both the practices and game have been moved to Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama.
The Lions and Jets both will arrive armed with draft capital in the upcoming draft.
The Lions own the No. 2 overall pick, along with a second first-rounder from the Los Angeles Rams, via the Matthew Stafford trade. (The pick placement will be determined by the Rams' playoff results.) Detroit GM Brad Holmes and his scouting department currently are slated to have five picks in the first three rounds.
The Jets own picks Nos. 4 and 10 (via the Jamal Adams trade) in Round 1 and have even more high-round ammo than the Lions, with five picks slated for the top 69 picks overall. That's a pretty nice allotment of selections for GM Joe Douglas and his scouting staff.
Although it's considered a down year overall for quarterbacks, the Lions certainly are a team that could consider drafting one at some point. Six of Yahoo Sports' top seven QB prospects are slated to attend the game: Pitt's Kenny Pickett, North Carolina's Sam Howell, Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder, Nevada's Carson Strong, Liberty's Malik Willis and Western Kentucky's Bailey Zappe.
The Jets have many big needs on the defensive side of the ball. Among the highest-rated defenders who have accepted Senior Bowl bids include Utah LB Devin Lloyd, Auburn CB Roger McCreary, Penn State S Jaquan Brisker, South Carolina's Kingsley Enagbare, Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie, Wyoming LB Chad Muma, LSU LB Damone Clark and Houston DL Logan Hall.
(Alabama DT Phidarian Mathis also has committed to the game but might not be able to compete following a possible pectoral injury he suffered in Monday's national title game.)
The Lions last coached in the game two years ago, with former head coach Matt Patricia. The Jets have not coached the Senior Bowl since 1979, but it was a pretty good haul they got from the game that year, landing Alabama’s Marty Lyons and East Central Oklahoma State’s Mark Gastineau in Rounds 1 and 2, respectively.
One interesting aspect of this year's game: The two head coaches, the Lions' Dan Campbell and the Jets' Robert Saleh, will take on more advisory roles during the week. The hope is that position coaches being elevated to coordinator and head coaching spots for the week of practice will allow assistants chances to showcase their coaching skills in front of the eyes of 32 teams' coaches, scouts and administrators.