Complete Lions 2017 Draft Recap, Grade and UDFA updates
By Matt Urben
The Detroit Lions drafted nine players yesterday, six on defense and three on offense. Fans seem cautiously optimistic as Detroit passed on some known commodities for multiple players at positions of need, such as linebacker and cornerback. For those of you with lives, I’ll catch you up on what you missed for the picks you may not have seen over the weekend.
Every Lions Pick:
Round 1: LB Jarrad Davis – Florida
Jarrad Davis was the safe pick, that also filled a tremendous hole in the Lions’ defense. He should be ready to go next season, despite some injury concerns last year at Florida. His coverage and instincts are outstanding. Davis is a high-character guy that the team chose over Alabama’s Reuben Foster. Some fans were upset, but Foster fell all the way to 31st.
Round 2: CB: Teez Tabor – Florida
Tabor was the second consecutive Florida Gator to be drafted by Detroit. A playmaking corner, Tabor was hindered by his average forty-time, causing him to fall to the second. Bob Quinn said he watched more tape on Tabor than any other player this year. His game speed looks faster than a 4.62, plus, he’s a big, outside corner that is compared to Darius Slay in his scouting profile.
Round 3: WR Kenny Golliday – Northern Illinois
Golliday was taken in the third round, but Detroit first traded back with the Patriots eleven picks. The selection came very late in the third, and some fans were unhappy with a guy they didn’t know being chosen over several bigger names from schools like Florida State, Michigan, and Tennesee. The Lions met with Golladay, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound field-stretcher. He ran a 4.50 40-yard-dash and posted back to back 1,000-yard seasons without a noteworthy quarterback.
Round 4: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin – Tennessee
This was one of my favorite picks (plus one that I predicted) because he’s another versatile linebacker that can fit Detroit’s scheme perfectly. Jalen Reeves-Maybin is tough, instinctive and pops off the screen when you watch him. He won’t be asked to start most likely but is a good long-term prospect.
Round 4: TE Michael Roberts – Toledo
This was the first pick that was really questioned by fans. Roberts was selected over many other talented, better known tight ends, such as Michigan’s Jake Butt. Roberts is a physical specimen that can block and better complement Eric Ebron. This is a pick you can’t really judge until you watch him play. Most of us hadn’t been watching a ton of film on the 5th-round projection out of Toledo.
Round 5: CB Jamal Agnew – San Diego
Jamal Agnew, the lightning quick, yet small corner out of San Diego was another second-guessed pick by Bob Quinn. The reason for the uncertainty is because Detroit already drafted Tabor and really needed defensive line help. Detroit currently has Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, D.J. Hayden and Darius Slay at corner. This seems like a case of a team sticking to their big board. Don’t write off Agnew so quickly.
Round 6: DE Jeremiah Ledbetter – Arkansas
Finally, Detroit addressed the defensive line. Ledbetter was a defensive end that lined up everywhere at Arkansas. He’s got the versatility play inside and that’s where Bob Quinn said the team expects to play him.
Round 6: QB Brad Kaaya – Miami
Brad Kaaya was considered a solid mid-round prospect at quarterback. He fell to the late-sixth somehow, causing Detroit to feel inclined to draft him and add competition for Jake Rudock behind starter Matthew Stafford. It gives the Lions a little more leverage in the Stafford negotiations, but not much. It’s the second straight year that Detroit drafted a quarterback in the sixth round.
Round 7: DE Pat O’Connor – Eastern Michigan
Pat O’Connor is a local kid from Eastern Michigan. He was productive and has good size to play in the NFL. Has some decent pass rush ability and gets good penetration. The Lions needed depth at this position and they may have effectively gotten it here.
It’s pointless to give a grade this early, but what do you want from me? People like grades. With that said, I was rather impressed with how Bob Quinn navigated through his second draft as Lions general manager. He showed he’s not restricted to offensive and defensive linemen, that he will take offensive weapons, and that he didn’t think Detroit needed a running back.
The Lions had chances to take big names and players with questionable character, like Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon, Alabama’s Reuben Foster, and Florida’s Caleb Brantley. Instead, they passed, taking high-character guys and filling needs. You’re always going to be criticized by the Mel Kipers of the world when you don’t take big-name players.
However, Quinn’s proven to know a thing or two about scouting with the early returns on last year’s draft being very good and also from his time in New England. So I give Detroit a generic “B” for now until I actually see them play in a Lions uniform.
Signed Undrafted Free Agents:
- RB Tion Green – Cincinnati
- DE Alex Barrett – San Diego State
- OL Storm Norton – Toledo
- DB Des Lawrence – North Carolina
- DE Jeremiah Veloaga – UNLV
- WR Michael Rector – Stanford
- DT Marcus Swain Jr – Auburn
- WR Noel Thomas – UCONN
- OL Leo Kaloamatangi – Hawaii
- DT Nick James – Miss St.
- WR Dontez Ford – Pittsburgh
- WR De’Qan Hampton – USC
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