*************2016 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.16 Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

The Lions addressed possibly their biggest non-megatron need, and they will help their QB to not get sacked 10 times a game.

B

2. A'Shawn Robinson, DT/NT, Alabama

If the Lions had got Robinson in the 1st round it would have been a solid pick. It's theft in the 2nd.

A

3. Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan

You have to like this pick. Glasgow isn't the best center in the draft, but he is more than capable, and will help straighten out the offensive line issues.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

I like this draft. Three good starters, and a team that finally has some offensive line potential.

*************2015 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.28 Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke

I like that they got two 5th rounders and an additional guard to fall back here, but his is a bit of a luxury. The team's interior could be great which will clearly help the run game, but they had better gobble up a pounding back later on in the draft.

B+

2.54 Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

The Lions have really done a great job of beefing up their run game in the draft. You can already tell that they are a better team from last year.

B+

3.80 Alex Carter, CB, Stanford

Can't complain here. Carter is a solid value and can help right away.

B

4.113 Gabe Wright, DT, Auburn

5.168 Michael Burton, FB, Rutgers

6.200 Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas

7.240 Corey Robinson, OT, South Carolina

OVERALL GRADE:B+

The team walks away with 2-3 starters, and have their best rushing team that they have had for a while. If the defense can stay strong then look for them to have a much more complete offense next year. A run game does nothing but increase Megatron's threat.

*************2014 NFL DRAFT GRADES************
 

1.10 Eric Ebron, TE, UNC

The Lions are a team that wants to compete offensively, and they proved it with this pick. They have so many weapons at this point that they could be freaky. It isn't the biggest need filler, but neither was the Jadeveon Clowney pick.

A

2.40 Kyle Van Noy, DE/ LB, BYU

I think he finds his spot at SAM, but he could be plugged into to attack in a few different ways.

B

3.76 Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas

This is early for Swanson, but sometimes need dominates availability.

B-

4.133 Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State

4.136 Larry Webster, DE Bloomsburg

5.158 Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton 

6.189 TJ Jones, WR, Notre Dame

7.229 Nate Freese, K, BC


OVERALL GRADE: B

Interesting draft, but a strangely good one. The team added a tight end that adds an extremely interesting layer of power to the team. They then added some pass rushing depth, a new center, and some good depth later on.


*************2013 NFL DRAFT GRADES************


1.5 Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU

A lot of people hate this pick, but they didn't get a tackle to fall to them, and they didn't love a corner there. I can live with them going with a potential all star pass rusher like Ansah here. 

B+

2.36 Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State

I think that Johnthan Banks was the better corner of the two, but the team addressed a huge need and they got fair value on it. Good pick.

B+

3. 65 Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky

I love players that look REALLY good on bad teams. Warford faced SEC defenses and succeeded to play well despite no help at all.

A

4.132 Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina

5.165 Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State

6.171 Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech

6.199 Theo Reddick, RB, Notre Dame

7.211 Michael Williams, TE, Alabama

7.245 Brandon Hepburn, LB, FAMU


OVERALL GRADE: B+

No complaints here. The team got three starters and plenty of other minor upgrades. I do wish that they had gotten a few more safe guys at safety, corner, and receiver though.


 *************2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

1.23 Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Wow. I about pooped a duck when the Lions actually took an offensive tackle with the pick. The team has been severely known for ignoring the offensive line, but getting a stud tackle with blind side potential is perfect. Then getting one that was the best player available is even better. Bravo.

A+

2.54 Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma

This pick confused me a lot. The team essentially drafted someone to compete with Titus Young in the slot, and they reached severely on an injured Ryan Broyles. The team would have been MUCH better getting another running back to plug in, or to grab a Peter Konz (who went the next pick).

D

3.85 Dwight Bentley, CB, LA-Laff

Now this is a pick that I like. Bentley does a lot of great things, and he wouldn't have lasted much longer here. He should be able to compete for some major playing time.

B+

4.125 Ronnell Lewis, DE / LB, Oklahoma

Lewis isn't the perfect fit in the 4-3 defense, but he is a good pass rusher were other great aspects, and he should have gone about 50 picks sooner.

A-

5.138 Tahir Whitehead, OLB, Temple

A lot of people in the draft community liked Whitehead as a sleeper. He's got a lot of potential and he fills a weakness on the team.

5.148 Chris Greenwood, CB, Albion

Greenwood was a fast rising corner from Albion (in Michigan), and he had visits with a lot of teams. He fits a need and was actually a solid value.

A- 


6.196 Jonte Green, CB, New Mexico State
 
A third corner? Sure you'd love for them to fill other needs, but a late round pick at corner adds great depth.

B

7.223 Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma

Travis Lewis was a guy that progressively got forgotten in college football, but he was consistently a guy that would get you a lot of tackles, and other great production. If he can get back into his 2009/10 form then the Lions would be walking away with a 1st/2nd round talent here.

A+

OVERALL GRADE: A-

I really like the Lions draft. They got good to great value on every pick except the Broyles one, but even if they forfeited the pick the draft would be a good one. They got 2-4 instant starters and a ton of depth to add to a team that is really growing strong. I also really love that they made the right move with Reiff. If they had passed on his value for a guy like Whitney Mercilus or Nick Perry then they would have been scorned, but they made a really great move here. I do wish that they would have added 1-2 more offensive line replacements inside which is why they got only the A- (not bad at all).

 

 
*************2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 
 
 Picks

1.13 Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

The Lions get a great pass rusher to put next to Ndamukong Suh. This makes the defensive ends better, which makes the whole defense better.

A

2.44 Titus Young, WR, Boise State

Another good pick. Young is a pure playmaker and is a great guy to plug into the offense right away.

A

2.57 Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois


Yet another great pick. I have been saying for months that this team needed to find a powerful runner to compliment Jahvid Best. I also think Leshoure went a round later than he was worth.

A+

5.157 Doug Hogue, OLB, Syracuse

Hogue is the first major need addressed, but I would have gone a few other ways with it, even at LB.

C+
 
7.209 Johnny Culbreath, OT, South Carolina State

Finally! I will continue to beg for the team to build a good offensive line. Many will say that the OL was fine and that sacks were down, but not me. The run game finished in the bottom 12 in both yards and YPC. The line surrendered fewer sacks, but 63% of the sacks were the offensive line's fault (in a stat of sacks before the first 3 seconds of a play). With so many good pass rushers in the division it is stupid for the team to not find as many options as possible.

A
 
Draft Grade C-

What? How do four A's and a C+ equate to a C-? Nick Fairley is a great combo to put with Suh, but who is going to play NT? How many teams work well with two undertackles? Does this mean that Suh has to gain 15-20 pounds or the other way around? It just seems sexier than it really works. The pick also didn't fill a major need and throws away having Corey Williams and their 2009 4th rounder Sammie Hill.

Titus Young is a great guy, but the team isn't going to sit Megatron and they can't sit Burleson who is signed through 2014 and can't treat him as a backup to Young. Essentially they figured out their WR3 issue. I like the idea of the pick, but a luxury pick is a little iffy.

I love Leshoure and would love to see him get about 2/3 of the carries, but early indications are that he will be the change of pace guy to a full time Best. So the team just got a 2nd round power back that could struggle under a poor line. There were also very few fans that even considered RB a need this offseason when I mocked Ingram to the team.

When it is all said and done Matt Stafford will love his offensive options for the first two games before he get's injured from crappyoffensivelinitis. 63% of the sacks last year on the team were the offensive line's fault (ranks among league's worst teams) and the team has needed multiple good (not scraps from other teams) upgrades for a very long time. 

I was abused by Lions fans this offseason when I didn't have an OL, OLB, CB or S going with the first pick. I actually got hate mail for having Fairley (and also Bowers before the knee issues) go to the team in the first because the team has zero need for DL help. The fact of the matter is that the team ignored their biggest needs until the 5th rounder. The defensive line will be stacked, but if a team can block the line for a few seconds then the defense will be destroyed by a passing attack.

I like this draft based on their first three picks, but the first two picks were luxury upgrades that might not make a major difference. The same love was given to the team last year, but outside of Suh very little help came from the picks (Spievey and Best got good time).

NEW GRADE: C+

I do honestly think that I gave the Lions a bad number, but only because they deserve a little more credit for getting pretty good value on some guys. But at the end of the day, I do think the Lions did little to truly help the team for 2011. The team found either an awkward fit for their DL, or a backup for Suh. They found a WR3 (whether it is Young or Burleson), and they found a RB2. The team still has an ugly offensive line, and a terrible back seven.