Is there reason for hope after the draft?
In the sixth round, Bob Quinn has picked Utah defensive tackle John Penisini. He is powerful with good hands and will probably be a two-down run-stuffer in the NFL. Penisini’s lower body strength does give him an opportunity to anchor against the run and push the pocket, but he doesn’t have the technique or quickness to consistently provide pressure up the middle.
Penisini is an under the radar kind of guy. He played alongside Leki Fotu and Bradlee Anae, who were the headliners every scout was looking at on the Utah defense. He fits what Matt Patricia wants to do defensively but certainly isn’t a flashy pick.
All that’s left is to see what the Lions do with their final pick in the seventh round, which can’t get here fast enough since I’ve now run out of supplies. Wait, where did that pizza come from? I may survive this yet.
The Lions are on the clock with their seventh-round pick. What type of project will they finish off their draft with?
The pick is in and it’s Ohio State defensive lineman Jashon Cornell. This adds more depth to the defensive line. Cornell is a tweener and was used at both end and tackle for the Buckeye’s and will probably do the same in Detroit. Sort of like Da’Shawn Hand.
The picks are in the books and while I certainly have my own opinion about how the Lions fared I would still like to see the final word from Bob Quinn. The wait will continue until he meets the press.
Bob Quinn’s final press conference confirmed what I thought that he basically stuck to his game plan of selecting the best player available on their board. While Quinn has high hopes for some of his selections to contribute early, he understands that with the offseason not being ‘normal’, the rookies will have to step up their game to earn playing time.
Expectations have to be a little different this year and rookies have to be given a longer leash. They will only learn so much from a ‘virtual minicamp’. It’s just not the same as being on the field and practicing together as a team.
That being said, Lions fans entered the draft looking for hope. Realistically, this franchise has more holes than they could fill with 10 draft picks, but if we honestly evaluate what Bob Quinn accomplished, on paper it was pretty good.
Now having said, it has to translate onto the field. Last offseasons moves looked pretty good on paper and we all expected the Lions to be really good on the defensive line and pretty good overall defensively. The reality was that they were pathetic and ultimately the defense was every bit as responsible, if not even more so than Matthew Stafford getting injured, for the Lions’ putrid season.
Will they be better defensively next season? The honest answer is that they only have one way to go from rock bottom. The offense was the strength but it certainly looks like it could be better. Again this is looking at the team on paper. They still have to prove it on the field.
We really won’t know how well Bob Quinn did in the draft for a couple of seasons. It always takes time to truly evaluate a draft class, but my initial thoughts are that Lions fans should have hope. I would say that it’s okay to be cautiously optimistic.
Well, mission accomplished. The draft is over and now the only question left is simple; will my wife unlock the door to the man-cave to let me out?