As Brad Holmes gets set for his second draft as Lions’ general manager, Pro Football Focus has re-graded the last draft of his predecessor.
Instant reactions are easy, but it generally takes 2-3 years for a real, credible analysis of any NFL Draft for each team. Brad Holmes is now heading toward his second draft as Detroit Lions’ general manager, so as he builds a draft pick resume those credible hindsight assessments will come.
With two seasons now to assess the performance of the players, Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus recently (before the conference title games) re-graded the 2020 NFL Draft for each team. For Lions’ fans, that will be known as the last draft led by former general manager Bob Quinn.
Sikkema cited each team’s grade from PFF immediately after the 2020 draft, with a new grade now.
How did the Detroit Lions do in 2020 draft re-grade?
Here’s a look at the Lions’ 2020 draft haul, with Sikkema’s re-grade and analysis.
"Round 1 (3): CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio StateRound 2 (35): RB D’Andre Swift, GeorgiaRound 3 (67): EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre DameRound 3 (75): G Jonah Jackson, Ohio StateRound 4 (121): G Logan Stenberg, KentuckyRound 5 (166): WR Quintez Cephus, WisconsinRound 5 (172): RB Jason Huntley, New Mexico StateRound 6 (197): DI John Penisini, UtahRound 7 (235): DI Jashon Cornell, Ohio StateThen: ANow: BThere was plenty of reason to get excited about this class when draft weekend wrapped up, but it has not been pretty since then. Though Swift’s overall PFF grade was down this year compared to last, he had two really strong performances before a shoulder injury killed his momentum this season. After tough rookie years for Jackson and Okwara, both bounced back big time during their sophomore seasons in the league. As for the top of the draft, Okudah looked overwhelmed his rookie season and tore his achilles in 2021. The injury isn’t Okudah’s fault, but he does need to play better than he’s shown."
Having missed most of the 2021 season with a torn Achilles’ after missing a total of seven games as a rookie, what can really only be an incomplete grade for Okudah drags down the overall re-grade here.
But Swift has showed plenty of promise in two seasons. Jackson was a Pro Bowl alternate this year, and he got to go and play in the game. Okwara made some strides with better health and more opportunity in 2021. Cephus was off to a promising start this year before a Week 5 collarbone injury sidelined him for the season. Penisini has played in 32 games as a rotational defensive lineman.
Two years out, with a lot to still see, the Lions didn’t do too bad in the 2020 NFL Draft. Where Okudah’s career with the team goes from here will be the tentpole of any further assessments or re-grades of Quinn and Matt Patricia’s final draft class.