Detroit Lions: The 2015 draft class was a failure
By Max Gerber
With only one of their seven picks under contract going into the 2019 season, it is safe to say that the Detroit Lions‘ 2015 draft class was a failure.
No player on the Detroit Lions‘ roster has been able to exceed expectations more than defensive back Quandre Diggs. The 2015 sixth-round pick out of Texas started his tenure in Motown in a reserve role, but quickly became a key player in this defense.
Initially, Diggs found himself buried on the back end of the depth chart, but managed to still appear in every game his rookie season and occasionally make a play in his limited role. Playing as a backup slot cornerback, he made the most of his opportunities and finished his rookie year with 35 tackles, six passes defended, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
The next season was more of the same. He had the potential, but not the opportunity. Even entering the 2017 season, it was unclear who would be the starter at nickel cornerback after the Lions drafted cornerback Jamal Agnew in the fifth round that year. Diggs ended up winning the role, but injuries at the safety forced him to switch positions.
Diggs has excelled since converting to safety, logging six interceptions and a touchdown in his new role.
Quandre Diggs has worked (and hit) harder than any player on this roster to make a name for himself, even earning himself the honor of being an alternate for the 2018 Pro Bowl. His ability to overcome adversity and find a role on this defense may explain why he is the only player from the 2015 draft class remaining on the Lions.
After trading back in the first round, the Detroit Lions selected offensive guard Laken Tomlinson out of Duke. Tomlinson’s tenure as a Lion only lasted two seasons, ending with him getting traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick.
The 28th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Tomlinson was expected to be part of the solution to the team’s offensive line issues. Instead, he allowed 8.0 sacks and committed seven penalties in two seasons before losing his starting job to rookie interior offensive lineman Graham Glasgow in 2016.
Since being traded to the 49ers, Tomlinson has showed some success, finding his way back to a starting role.