Grading each Detroit Lions pick from the 2024 NFL Draft

Here are our pick-by-pick grades for the Detroit Lions' 2024 draft class.
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Fourth Round, No. 126 overall: Giovanni Manu, OT, University of British Columbia (Canada)

The Lions traded up early on Day 3, sending a 2025 third-round pick to the New York Jets for pick No. 126. The cost, as in none of this year's draft capital, was surprisingly reasonable.

Then the Lions pulled a shocker by taking Manu, a project offensive tackle out of the University of British Columbia. He looked like a man among boys against his college competition, but he is supremely athletic for his size and his perceived upside was shown by the fact he had pre-draft visits with 11 teams.

Now being the reigning NFC runners-up gives you leeway when it comes to needing draft picks to contribute immediately. But it seems the Lions are taking just a few too many of these type of fliers (Brodric Martin, Hendon Hooker) and trading up for them like they did with Martin last year.

An edge rusher or a big, "X" wide receiver might have been worth trading into the fourth round for, while giving up a top-100 pick next year. A project offensive tackle, not so much. It'd be tempting, and unfair, to give this pick an awful grade, so a mediocre grade it is due to the sheer unknown of Manu.

Grade: C

Fourth Round, No. 132 overall: Sione Vaki, S/RB, Utah

The Lions clearly liked Vaki, the most versatile prospect in this draft. They were probably going to have to move up from No. 164 to assure they got him though, and that's what they did. They also got pick No. 210 from the Philadelphia Eagles (more on that later), while giving up No. 164, No. 201 and the 2025 fourth-rounder they got from the Eagles in the D'Andre Swift trade.

Vaki is a safety by primary trade, but he was pressed into duty at running back last season and excelled (7.5 yards per carry, 18.5 yards per reception). Some analysts see his NFL future to be far better as a running back than a safety, while he is easily projected to be a top-notch special teamer (and possibly a return man).

There is something to be said for identifying players you want, and doing whatever it takes to go get them. Conviction overtakes ultimately being right in those moments, and Holmes' quote about Vaki sums it up nicely.

"He’s a football player that plays football like (how) we like it," Holmes said.

Grade: B+