With the Detroit Lions’ final draft of the decade approaching, we take a look back and rate their first-round selections dating back to 2010.
Not unlike most NFL teams over the past decade, the Detroit Lions have had their hits and misses with their first-round draft picks. Since 2010, they have had at least one opening round selection every year, with two coming in 2010. They have been an average team on the field for most of that span, resulting in the majority of their picks coming in the middle section of the round.
In that time, they’ve landed some immediate impact players (Ndamukong Suh), some who failed to make any impact at all (Laken Tomlinson), and some whose careers were cut short by injury (Jahvid Best). Four of those selections remain on the team, with one of them (Ziggy Ansah) an impending free agent and unlikely to return.
Where the Lions have had success since 2010 is unearthing hidden gems in later rounds. They found a starting center in the third round (Graham Glasgow), a talented, hard-hitting defensive back in the sixth round (Quandre Diggs), a four-year starting middle linebacker in the fifth round (Tahir Whitehead) and a burgeoning number one receiver also in the third (Kenny Golladay).
The Lions are about to embark on a critical offseason, one that could determine the fate of head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. Barring a trade, they will have the eighth pick in the first round, and they need to hit on it. It doesn’t have to be a superstar, but closing out their first-round selections of the decade with a serious playmaker would be a major boost for a team that needs one.
So as the Lions brass carefully crafts their own big board leading up to April 26th in Nashville, we’ll take a look back and rank each of the Lions first round drafts since 2010, starting with the worst and leading up to the best. For this list, we took into consideration not just statistical performance, but overall impact, longevity with the Lions and value at their draft spot. So let’s get to it, starting with their weakest year.