Open Rants by kkunert327

2020 Draft Grade: Detroit Lions
Published at 4/26/2020
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With the draft in the books time to go back and do a wrap up of how teams made out. I might be a bit of a harsh critic to the top 3 round picks, but that is where you need to hit in the draft to be successful. Sure most of the league is 4th rounders and later, but any that turn into Pro Bowlers or All-Pro players is mostly out of luck. So without further adieu, onto the Detroit Lions and that coach on the super hot seat Matt Patricia. 

1 (3) - Jeff Okudah CB Ohio St - C

2 (3) - D'Andre Swift RB Georgia - B+

3 (3) - Julian Okwara DE Notre Dame - C+

3 (11) - Jonah Jackson OG Ohio St - D

Let me get started by saying, anything the Lions say about no one wanting to trade up has to be ridiculous. They certainly had offers, but they were typical Detroit who wanted to play it safe and make sure they got their guy in Okudah. Honestly, drafting Tua made a ton of sense to have him sit on the bench and learn from Stafford for a year. However, if not Tua trading down was a simple concept in my opinion. Had they moved to 5 or 6 they still could have had Okudah or even drafted a better prospect in my opinion in Derrick Brown. I actually do like Okudah as a prospect, but to me corner is one of the most volatile positions to predict and very often takes them 2-3 years before they flourish. Previous top 10 selected corners in the recent past are Denzel Ward, Jalen Ramsey, Eli Apple, and Justin Gilbert. They have all had various success of highs and lows. Two are just okay in Ward and Apple. Meanwhile, many other first round corners later in the draft have been either okay, great, or for the most part complete busts. I think corner is one of the riskiest picks to make in the top 10 let alone top 5. I also do not understand trading Slay just to draft an unknown in Okudah. Granted you saved money, but you really got nothing in return giving up one of the best corners in the league. I really liked the Swift pick seeing how he easily could have gone in the first round and should elevate the running back position. If Kerryon Johnson stays healthy the two can give Detroit maybe the first solid running back tandem they have ever had. Okwara to me is a bit of a safe pick, but also all upside at the same time. He was injured in college and has a long ways to go before he is a viable defender. Jonah Jackson was not to me a Day 2 prospect and would have been there later in the draft. They did have a huge need at guard, but there were better options on the board. All in all this was an okay albeit predictable draft for the Lions as I had Okudah, Swift, and Okwara all mocked to them at one time or another. 

4 (15) - Logan Stenberg OG Kentucky - B+

5 (21) - Quintez Cephus WR Wisconsin - C- 

5 (27) - Jason Huntley RB New Mexico St - D

6 (18) - John Pensini DT Utah - B

7 (21) - Jashon Cornell DE Ohio St - A

Their Day 3 picks to me were a mixed bag where some players are good, but they had more pressing needs elsewhere. Regardless if Okudah is good or not they still need more corner depth and you cannot tell me Stafford is the future in Detroit. Drafting either Eason or Fromm to me would make a ton of sense for them. I really liked Stenberg the whole way. He has a Cody Whitehair and Braden Smith blue collar lunch pail type mentality to him. Had they picked him instead of Jonah Jackson earlier I would have loved it and I would not be shocked if he beats out Jackson for the starting right guard gig. Cephus is a Wisconsin receiver, come back to me when you find one that has actually stuck in this league. Huntley is an undersized back who will find a hard time on the starting line up with Kerryon Johnson and now D'Andre Swift in his way. He might contribute in the return game, but how big is that in today's NFL. Pensini and Cornell are nice upside picks to find in the later rounds of the draft. I just do not trust this coaching staff to develop them. Actually, all these defensive linemen could be fish out of water once Patricia is fired since they were drafted specifically to fit his multi defensive front where like in New England versatile players are more sought after. Unfortunately, Patricia is not as good a schemer or developer than his mentor Belichick has been. Overall, I think general manager Bob Quinn has done a poor job since his arrival in Detroit from coaching hires to draft picks. If not for Okudah probably panning out this would have been a terrible draft. Still what is the point of another corner after getting rid of Slay when they could not even win with him on their defense. It will not get better with Okudah. This whole culture needs a change up in Detroit and they will continue to be an underachieving team until the front office and ownership changes. Overall, the grade to me is a meager C- and it would be lower if not for Stenberg and Swift being a great value. 

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