Now that the Detroit Lions have completed the 2019 NFL Draft, one analyst is giving them high marks for their results on Day Three.
The first two days of the NFL draft are where you hope starters are found. But having success on Day Three could build you a champion. Finding those hidden gems and role players in rounds four through seven is essential to adding inexpensive, quality depth to your roster. And it appears the Detroit Lions may have had one of their best Day Three hauls in recent memory.
Here’s a list of the players selected by the Lions on Saturday. This is a group that had one national draft analyst drooling from top to bottom.
4th Round (117th) – Austin Bryant, DE – Clemson
5th Round (146th) – Amani Oruwariye, CB – Penn State
6th Round (184th) – Travis Fulgham, WR – Old Dominion
6h Round (186th) – Ty Johnson, RB – Maryland
7th Round (224th) – Isaac Nauta, TE – Georgia
7th Round (229th) – P.J. Johnson, DT – Arizona
Draft analyst for NFL.com Chad Reuter gave the Lions an “A” grade for their selections on Day Three of the draft. Here’s his explanation for the rave review.
"“Even with Trey Flowers in the fold, adding another pass rusher in Bryant made a lot of sense. Getting a big corner was a must, so I’m on board with the Oruwariye pick. The Lions needed the depth they added at running back and receiver, too — and I can’t fault them for taking Nauta in the seventh to join Hockenson. Johnson could eventually replace Damon Harrison, who’s signed through 2020.”"
There’s an old adage that you can never have enough pass rushers. And Bryant racked up 17.0 sacks and 30.0 tackles for loss on one of the best teams in college football. In Oruwariye, Detroit may have found themselves a sleeper starter for their secondary in his rookie season.
The addition of Fulgham gives the Lions another option on the outside that they can develop and possibly become the eventual replacement to Marvin Jones Jr., whose contract ends after 2020. Ty Johnson will have a chance to crack the roster as C.J. Anderson, Zach Zenner, and Theo Riddick are all on one-year contracts.
The tight end Nauta was a pure best player available pick and should compete with Michael Roberts and Logan Thomas for a spot on the active roster. Finally, P.J. Johnson is being touted as a possible replacement for Damon Harrison, which seems lofty. It’s a success if any seventh rounder makes the final 53.
At the end of the day, this draft will be judged like all others. And we currently have no idea how things will eventually shake out. But the fact this group currently looks like a great draft class for the Detroit Lions bodes well for the Motor City rebounding this upcoming season. Especially if some of these Day Three prospects can make an impact as rookies.