The Lions do not currently have a 2023 fourth-round pic , having sent it to the Vikings in the T.J. Hockenson trade.
Whether the Lions re-sign Jamaal Williams or not, they have questions at running back moving forward. D’Andre Swift is lined up to be allowed to play out his rookie contract in 2023, and Williams is not the long-term future. A separate outside free agency signing may change the equation, but as things sit now Vaughn became the pick here.
Vaughn finished second in the Big 12 (and eighth in the country) with 1,558 rushing yards last season, following a season where he ran for 1,404 yards (ninth in the country) and 18 touchdowns. Over his last two seasons at Kansas State, he totaled 91 receptions as well.
Vaughn is a very small back (5-foot-6, 170-some pounds), which will trail him during the pre-draft process. The comp to fellow K-State alum Darren Sproles is easy, too easy really, but Sproles also had a 15-year NFL career.
As the Lions ponder what their running back depth chart will look like moving forward, Vaughn is a solid Day 3 flier.
For whatever it’s worth, PFF gave me an ‘F’ grade for this pick, dragging my overall grade for this draft down to a ‘B’. But moving beyond that, Thompson-Robinson has some fans out there. Last season he showed growth as a passer (69.2 percent completion rate) whlile maintaning the threat he always was as a runner (645 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns).
A developing pocket passer and a threat as a runner, like Thompson-Robinson, is an ideal type of quarterback for the Lions to draft and have sit behind Jared Goff next season.
Broeker was a three-year starter at Ole Miss, moving from left tackle to left guard for his final season. By most accounts his NFL future is at guard, but in theory he’d offer the ability to play tackle in a pinch.
The Lions may be eyeing a replacement for right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai this offseason, some way or another, and left guard Jonah Jackson is nearing the possibility of a contract extension. In a broad sense the Lions need better depth behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, so Broeker was an easy flier here.
The Lions also don’t have a 2023 seventh-round pick right now.