With the 2023 NFL Draft officially in the rearview mirror for the Detroit Lions, here are some instant reactions and grades to every pick.
Another NFL draft is in the books. As the Detroit Lions continue to ascend as an organization, this was another important draft to support the developing core as the team attempts to rise to the tier of a true playoff team.
The list of needs was not necessarily that extensive. The importance of this draft was in continuing to add talent and depth, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. However, there were still some holes that needed to be plugged on both sides of the ball.
So how did general manager Brad Holmes and the Lions fare in the 2023 NFL Draft? Here is a recap and grades for every pick.
Grading each pick for the Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick No. 12: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
After trading from the sixth overall pick down to 12, the Lions started the draft with an absolute shocker. Very few even dared to suggest Bijan Robinson could be a Lion at pick 18, let alone Gibbs at 12. This pick came out of absolutely nowhere and left most of the NFL world speechless.
There are two parts of this selection. The player himself, and the context of the pick. Starting with Gibbs, he is an electric weapon and a big play threat who can turn any touch into a home run. Whether it is as a runner or a receiver out of the backfield, Gibbs is going to be the lightning to David Montgomery’s thunder in the Lions’ backfield.
Then there’s the other side of this pick. The value of taking a running back in the first round, let alone at No. 12, raises questions. The pick signaled the end of D’Andre Swift’s time in Detroit and now puts Detroit in a precarious position. Either you are likely not giving enough touches to the runner you just gave $18M to, or you’re not giving enough touches to the 12th overall pick. The talent and potential of Gibbs is not up for discussion, but he has to become an elite back in the league for this pick to reach its maximum value.