Detroit Lions 2021 draft: Instant reactions and grades

Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Derrick Barnes, Detoit Lions
Derrick Barnes, Detroit Lions (Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Round 4 pick 113: Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue

After making their first selection on day three of the draft the Lions decided they didn’t want to wait. Trading up to be able to make back-to-back selections, selecting Darrick Barnes 113th overall.

Personally, I love the aggression shown by this front office. And they did fill two needs at receiver and linebacker with those consecutive picks in the fourth round.

While a lot of people wanted Jabril Cox, Barnes fits the type of player that will bite off some kneecaps, which has been a theme in this draft for Detroit. Every pick has been spent on someone who plays violently and has a high motor.

It was right after this pick was announced that a lot of people started voicing their opinions of how good this Lions draft had been up to that point.

As for Barnes, as a former edge rusher-turned linebacker, he’s not the pure coverage linebacker that the Lions needed but he isn’t terrible in that department. Although his calling card is his ability to rush the passer and defend the run.

Over a four-year career at Purdue Barnes totaled 10.5 sacks and 226 total tackles. He did have 3 passes defended as well as a single interception as well. While he shows some potential in coverage, that likely is not what his role will be early on.

Barnes figures to join the mix with Julian Okwara and Austin Bryant in the JACK role, or something similar to that role. He isn’t a day one starter in my opinion, but his intensity will be noticed every time he’s on the field.

Not my first, or second choice for who I believed the Lions should pick at linebacker on day three, but I won’t fight it too much.

Grade: B