By now, everyone has released their draft grades. There’s certainly no shortage of them. Here you’ll find a compilation of various draft grades from around the internet along with some of my thoughts.
Pro Football Focus: Here’s what the good people over at PFF had to say about the Taylor Decker selection.
"Detroit Lions, CDay 1: We had a second-round grade on Decker, so we like him overall as a player, just not this high in the draft. He’s a mauling run-blocker (eighth in the nation in 2014 in run-block grades), but two straight years of average grades in pass protection have us concerned."
Despite the fact that PFF wasn’t high on Decker, they liked the value of the A’Shawn Robinson pick and seemed mostly indifferent to the Graham Glasgow choice. With an overall grade of C, PFF didn’t seem to be fans of the Lions’ Day 3 choices although they note several of those players’ pros and cons.
USA Today weren’t very high on the Lions’ selections either.
"Detroit LionsGrade: CAnalysis: The first two picks weren’t too sexy – Ohio State OT Taylor Decker in the first, and Alabama DT A’Shawn Robinson in the second – but the Lions definitely needed help in the trenches. They built depth on the final day of the draft with six picks in Rounds 5-7, but it’s hard to project how any of those late picks will perform."
Apparently offensive and defensive linemen aren’t sexy. I didn’t know draft grades were assigned based on sexiness. Also, I’ve got to disagree. Beards are sexy. A+ for sexiness and USA Today is just wrong.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports thought a little bit better of Detroit’s draft, noting his approval of the Decker selection while simultaneously questioning the absence of any drafted receivers. You know, because that’s totally something the Lions should have addressed in the Draft because they definitely didn’t go out and sign the best receiver in Free Agency.
"Best pick: I was one who liked first-round tackle Taylor Decker more than Titans first-round pick Jack Conklin. The Lions needed help up front and Decker will solidify the right tackle spot.Questionable move: Not taking a receiver at some point in the draft. Yes, they signed Marvin Jones to replace Calvin Johnson, but why not add a few more?Grade: B-"
Yes, why not add a few more receivers. It’s not like the Lions also needed a safety, defensive end, center, tackle, and linebacker. I will say though, if we had room for a long snapper, we probably had room for a receiver in the Draft.
Doug Farrar at SI.com gave the Lions the most favorable grade of the lot, a B, largely due to the overall value throughout. He notes Zettel, Dahl and Killebrew as talented sleepers.
"Detroit Lions: BDecker should be able to stave off the increasing number of pass rushers who have been able to harass Matthew Stafford, through there is some concern about his viability as a left tackle at the next level. Robinson has top-20 talent, but many teams overlooked him because they thought (incorrectly) that he can’t penetrate as a one-gap player. Apparently, his 2013 tape was unavailable. Center Graham Glasgow is a reliable player who fills an immediate need. Killebrew is a player to watch—if he can keep his aggressiveness under control, he’s an enforcer safety in the Kam Chancellor mold. Guard Joe Dahl may take some time to adjust to the NFL after time in Mike Leach’s Washington State offense, but he’s a talented athlete. Zettel is the sleeper here, with the ability to play end and tackle. —DF"
It’s funny because when you read Farrar’s take on the Lions’ draft, he makes it sound like they’re getting five starters out of this draft then he goes and gives it a B. I guess he’s just a little higher on the depth guys than everyone else.
Peter Schrager at Fox Sports thought the Lions did OK. A B- isn’t that bad, but he has just eight teams with worse grades.
"24. Detroit Lions: B-The Lions had a real meat-and-potatoes kind of draft. I thought Ryan Kelly would have been the better selection than Taylor Decker at 16, and I wasn’t as high on center Graham Glasgow as Detroit was, taking him in the third round. I don’t think Detroit addressed its need for a pass rusher opposite of Ziggy Ansah, either. I do like A’Shawn Robinson inside and think Miles Killebrew can be a difference maker at safety.Best value pick: Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah, 111th overall"
So this grade was based on its mealworthiness as opposed to its sexiness. THIS DRAFT NEEDED MORE ACIDITY TOM!!! WHERE’S THE WHIMSY?!?! At least he liked the Killebrew selection along with Robinson.
Overall, it seems that most of the draft pundits weren’t blown away with Bob Quinn’s first draft in Detroit. Personally, I think the Lions managed to pull three or four starters out of this draft (Decker, Robinson, Glasgow and Killebrew). Decker may be the only one to start in 2016, but if you get that many starters out of one draft class it’s a success. There were certainly some head scratchers among the 10 total selections made this past weekend, including QB Jake Rudock and LS Jimmy Landes. Who drafts a long snapper? Who drafts a long snapper in the SIXTH ROUND?! The Detroit Lions apparently.
If you look at the draft just in terms of positions addressed, I think every Lions fan would be thrilled with the choices. OT/DT/C/S/OG/LB/QB/DE/LS/RB. That’s ten choices that address virtually every team need. If anyone has an issue with the Lions’ draft, it’s with player fits. Ultimately, though, I think we’ll look back at this draft and determine its value based on the offensive line selections. Three of the top five choices were offensive linemen. If Decker and Glasgow aren’t long term starters, the draft was unequivocally a failure. If they are, then it won’t matter if guys like Killebrew, Williams and Zettel don’t pan out.
Just one more note: I’m excited that every defender the Lions drafted is an absolute thumper. These guys bring the wood and watching them in Honolulu Blue next year will be a treat.
OK, one more note. Quinn’s draft was very balanced. He alternated between offense and defense for every pick until the sixth round when he turned his focus to special teams. Just an interesting note. Find me on Twitter @LethalSax to yell at me!