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 Detroit Lions Draft Review


Team Needs: OT, CB, DE, WR


Selections:


Rd 1. 16 Taylor Decker OT Ohio State

Rd 2. 46 A’Shawn Robinson DT Alabama

Rd 3. 95 Graham Glasgnow C Michigan

Rd 4. 111 Miles Killebrew S Southern Utah

Rd 5. 151 Joe Dahl OG Washington State

Rd 5. 169 Antwione Williams OLB Georgia Southern

Rd 6. 191 Jake Ruddock QB Michigan

Rd 6. 202 Anthony Zettel DE Penn State

Rd 6. 210 Jimmy Landes LS  Baylor

Rd 7. 236 Dewayne Washington RB Washington


Recap:

Rarely is there a quieter team than the Detroit Lions. The biggest news this offseason in Detroit was the unexpected retirement of Calvin Johnson, by far the Lions best player since Barry Sanders. Detroit has a lot of issues throughout their organization, and roster, and can always afford to draft for value. The team started their draft by selecting Taylor Decker. The Ohio State tackle should help give much needed stability, and physicality, to their offensive line; something that will be key to keeping Matthew Stafford healthy. Decker is a better left tackle prospect than Jack Conklin, although he will likely play right tackle, and has enough upside to be a very good tackle for a long time, if not a Pro-Bowl player. A’Shawn Robinson was a great value in the second round. Robinson was one of the ten most talented players in this draft. If he played with a consistent moter he would have been off the board well before the Lions selected in the first round. The team will hope that his drop into the draft’s second day will cause him to play with a sense of urgency. Graham Glasgnow is a multi-talented center. He has the strength and power to move nose tackles but might be too tall for a center. He should make the transition to guard easily if that is the case. Miles Killebrew is a physical strong safety that some teams were looking at as a linebacker. He should bring a physical tone setting presence to the defense when he plays, although he is most likely to see the playing field on special teams as a rookie. Joe Dahl is yet another physical interior lineman. Dahl plays with a nasty streak and could start at right guard for Detroit sooner rather than later. Antwione Williams is another physical player that will look to find a home on special teams. Jake Ruddock was impressive enough to justify taking a flier on him at this point in the draft. There isn’t a ton of upside with him but he could develop into a cheap option as a backup quarterback.  Anthony Zettel is a big bodied overachieving base end that plays with a lot of effort. Jimmy Landes is a long snapper, a position that is rarely drafted. DeWayne Washington has nice size and good hands but he has been injury prone throughout his career. He’ll have a chance to make the roster but will need to stay healthy in order to do it.


Analysis:

  1. The Lions clearly felt like establishing a more physical offensive line was their most pressing need. The Lions have used three of their last five first round picks on offensive linemen and this year followed with two more mid round picks. Dahl and Decker could both start this year but the competition in camp should mean that the Lions offensive line will be much better.

  2. In addition to offensive line play it appears as if the Lions weren’t entirely happy with their special teams coverage units in 2015. Long snappers are rarely drafted and the Lions not only took a long snapper but two players that appear to be best suited for special teams duty - at least as rookies. Williams and Killebrew will bring speed and physicality to their coverage units and, they hope, that Landes will add some consistency to their punting game.

  3. The most troubling thing about this draft for the Lions was their inability to take an offensive skill player before the 7th round. The team has almost nothing in the cupboard at receiver and running back so unless the offensive line is so physical that opposing teams give up it’s difficult to see whp Stafford will be able to distribute the ball to consistently.

Grade: C+


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