In a new re-draft of the 2018 NFL Draft, are the Detroit Lions able to keep one of their most important players?
"They" generally say it takes three years to really accurately evaluate an NFL draft class. So five is seasons of player resumes is certainly more than enough (?), and on that note Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport is out with a fresh re-draft of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Detroit Lions defied the positional value truthers in this year's draft by taking a running back (Jahmyr Gibbs) and a linebacker (Jack Campbell) in the first round. In the top-20 overall picks even.
But it was not the first time they did something like than in recent memory. Tight end T.J. Hockenson was a top-10 pick in 2019, and in the draft before that the Lions took center Frank Ragnow No. 20 overall in 2018.
The Lions have made plenty of draft mistakes through their history. But they have not often been rooted in lack of acknowledgement for what others see as the premium positions in football.
Do the Detroit Lions still get one of their cornerstone players in 2018 re-draft?
It's safe to say Ragnow has justified being a top-20 overall pick, even at a perceived low-value position. He started every game of his rookie season at left guard, and he has since become one of the best centers in the NFL with two Pro Bowl selections in the last three years.
It's also safe to say some teams who picked above the Lions in that 2018 draft might take Ragnow if they had a do-over. So did that happen in Davenport's re-draft?
Some of the re-draft selections are obvious (Josh Allen over Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns), followed by the nuances of a new pick because the original real-life pick was no longer available.
As for the Lions at No. 20.....
"The Pick Then: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas- Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report
The Pick Now: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas"
Davenport mentions players at more premium positions (namely edge rusher) still being available in the re-draft. But the case for the Lions to stick with Ragnow was too strong.
"A 65-game starter and two-time Pro Bowler, Ragnow allowed just one sack in 1,074 snaps last year, per Pro Football Focus.- Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report
Is this a sexy pick? No. Are there players at more premium positions available? Yes. Twenty picks in, no edge-rushers have been drafted.
But Ragnow has been an excellent player for the Lions the past five years. And as we've already said once in this re-draft: When something is not broken, there's no need to fix it."
"When something is not broken, there's no need to fix it". It's hard to say it better than that regarding the Lions taking Ragnow in a 2018 re-draft now. They got one of their cornerstone players, and would make the pick again without question.