The NFL announced Tuesday that the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets will coach the players in the 2022 Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL early next month. For the first time in the game's history, the head coaches of each franchise will be in an advisory role.
The change to the Senior Bowl format is a chance for the teams' assistants to take charge and showcase their skills in front of other NFL teams. Another change to the format will include four coaches from HBCU's, connecting with the league for future opportunities.
Both the Lions and Jets will be picking twice in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, so an experience like this gives them an edge in scouting some of the top prospects. The Senior Bowl had a record 106 players drafted last year, including a pair of first-round picks in QB Mac Jones and WR Kadarius Toney.
Lions GM Brad Holmes said Tuesday the club is eager to "get eyes on these guys."
"The roster looks good," he said. "I know back when I was with the Rams, we were able to acquire a lot of guys that played in the Senior Bowl, guys that had success. There is a lot of gold to be found there."
This year's roster features several potential first-round quarterbacks who could interest the Lions, including Pitt's Kenny Pickett, UNC's Sam Howell, Liberty's Malik Willis and Nevada's Carson Strong.
"Dan Campbell and Robert Saleh's staffs will bring great intensity to our game week and our players will undoubtedly get better during their time in Mobile. Our leadership is committed to using our game's unique platform inspire change and we are excited about opportunities the new staffing model will create," Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said in a statement.
The Lions will have the second overall pick and another late first-rounder from the Rams thanks to last year's Matthew Stafford trade. The Jets will select at No. 4 and again at No. 10.
Both Campbell and Saleh completed their first seasons as NFL head coaches in 2021. The Lions finished out strong with a win over Green Bay and the Jets lost their final game of the year to the Buffalo Bills.
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