Looking into Detroit Lions rookie deal extension candidates and what they might get

The 2021 draft class was the launch point of the Detroit Lions' rebuild, and here's what those extension candidates may get in their next contracts as their rookie deals get set to expire.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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During his memorable season-ending press conference, Brad Holmes tallied receipts about his first draft class as Detroit Lions' general manager.

"When you look back at those picks, those picks were not welcomed by many in this room,” Holmes said. “Dave (Birkett), you wanted us to pick a quarterback. You didn’t want us to pick Penei Sewell. People didn’t want us to wait until the fourth round to draft a wide receiver (Amon-Ra St. Brown). People didn’t want to wait on a Derrick Barnes to develop.”

That first draft class was the first bricks in a foundation of a rebuild that yielded a trip to the NFC Championship Game in Year 3. Penei Sewell and Amon-Ra St. Brown are the clear cut building blocks. Alim McNeill is a budding star after a breakout third season. Ifeatu Melifonwu was finally healthy and became a force down the stretch of the just-completed season. Derrick Barnes had a mostly excellent third season.

That's five of the Lions' seven picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, and as of right now all seven are somewhere on the roster. That feels like it's rare around the league, even as relatively recent as it is. Those players are all now eligible for contract extensions, having completed three seasons in the league.

So let's look at those extension-eligible players, in the order they were drafted in 2021 (with round and pick number), and what a new deal might look like for them.

Taking a look at Detroit Lions rookie extension candidates