Day three- Fourth through Seventh rounds
Final first impression: Highly questionable is about the nicest way I can put it for now. I really have no idea about the logic behind some of the Saturday picks. However, it’s far better to have a great first half and poor second half of the draft than the other way around.
My main issue isn’t necessarily with who the Lions picked, so much as who they didn’t pick, despite him falling into their laps repeatedly. That player is quarterback Jake Fromm, and I guess this sentiment comes down entirely to how you feel about the backup QB situation in Detroit. For what it’s worth, I don’t feel good about it in the slightest.
If you’re one snap away from another 0-8 finish, is a second rookie guard going to be the difference? Maybe the thinking is yes, which would explain Logan Stenberg to Detroit in round four.
With their first of two fifth round picks, receiver Quintez Cephus came out of nowhere, considering the current receiving crop is already a strength. Cephus ran one of the slowest times for a receiver at the combine and had legal issues that resulted in a controversial expulsion and then reinstatement at Wisconsin. He does have a big supporter in new teammate Jeff Okudah though, who says Cephus was the best receiver he went against while at Ohio State.
If taking Cephus was questionable, the next fifth round pick was just as puzzling, running back Jason Huntley. In the master plan, the most likely niche for Huntley on the roster seems to be a J.D. McKissic-type third down back (in which case, why did you take D’Andre Swift?) who might contribute as a kick returner as well.
If Huntley does well in camp, the Ty Johnson fans may face a harsh reality check. All the same, getting a second running back was strange.
By the 197th overall pick, the Lions still hadn’t addressed the defensive line, so made up for lost time by doubling up at a third position, with DTs John Penisini and Jashon Cornell in the 6th and seventh rounds.
While Penisini’s selection earned high marks (A- from CBS Sports, B from Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press), most people expected that position to be taken care of much sooner. That’s a quick way of saying that Penisini and Derrick Brown will have a pretty large expectation gap going into this season.