Detroit Lions: Revisiting the 2018 draft class three years later

Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Tyrell Crosby (65), Detroit Lions (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Tyrell Crosby (65), Detroit Lions (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

Tyrell Crosby

Position: Offensive Tackle
Selection: Round 5 / 153rd overall
Career Stats: 38 games, 18 starts
Contract Status: Signed through 2021

The former Oregon Duck was a standout performer on the offensive line for four college seasons, culminating in an All-Pac-12 first-team selection as a senior. However, injury concerns prompted his fall in the 2018 draft, landing him right in the Lions’ lap.

At the time, the Lions were set at the tackle position with Decker on the left side and Rick Wagner on the right. Under Quinn, the Lions had made some questionable draft-day decisions when it came to positional value. When they were on the clock in round five, however, they did not overthink it and selected Crosby in order to bolster their offensive line depth.

Despite his talent, Crosby wasn’t expected to contribute much as a rookie. There were rumblings about him making a full-time move to guard, though that never materialized. He saw a few occasional snaps before making a start and a relief appearance late in the year in which he did not look out of place.

In 2019, Crosby made a total of five starts spelling Decker and Wagner when they were out with injuries. He played well enough to cement himself as an important part of the Lions’ offensive front, though not yet deemed a full-time starter. This was much to the disappointment of those who thought he was ready for a bigger role.

The signing of tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai last offseason was another obstacle for Crosby in his pursuit of a full-time starting role. However, Vaitai struggled with injuries and poor play early on, making Crosby a de facto starter. In fact, he wound up starting 11 of the 12 games in which he appeared in 2020 before missing the final four contests of the year with an ankle injury.

With Sewell on board, Crosby is likely ticketed for a reserve role again, one for which he is probably best suited. Of every player on this list not named Frank Ragnow, Crosby may make the most sense to receive a second contract from the team. Reliable offensive tackles are valued in the NFL, particularly those that have some starting experience.

However, that experience may make Crosby a highly sought-after player next offseason should he reach free agency or even this offseason should a tackle-needy team come calling with a trade offer. He may also look for an opportunity to join a team as a full-time starter, which could make it too hard for the Lions to bring him back next spring. Should injuries creep up again though, it may make more sense for them to move on.

Overall, Crosby has proven to be a solid value pick for a fifth-rounder. He’s not a great player, but he’s a good one. There’s always room for those types on NFL squads, and the Lions are fortunate that he’ll likely be on their team for a least one more year.