Number Nine – 2015
Selection/Position: Laken Tomlinson / Guard
Draft position/School: 28th overall / Duke
Tenure with Lions: 2015 – 2016
Lions statistics: 32 games played, 24 games started
Coming off one of their most successful seasons in quite a while (an 11-5 record in 2014), the Lions found themselves even further back in the first round of the draft after a trade with the Denver Broncos. They used the pick to help bolster their offensive line with Tomlinson. It would be general manager Martin Mayhew’s final draft with the Lions; he was fired midway through the 2015 season.
Tomlinson played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting ten. He was unable, however, to help keep the Lions from finishing dead last in rushing yardage that year. In his second year, he was in and out of the lineup, as rookie center/guard Graham Glasgow continued to press him for snaps.
Unable to gain any kind of footing in Detroit, Tomlinson was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 for a future fifth-round pick. He has found a home in the Bay Area, starting 31 games for the 49ers over the past two seasons. Still, he ranks as the weakest first-round selection by the Lions over the past decade.