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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.

5/03/2015

NFL analysts grade Detroit Lions 2015 draft

Here’s a look at how  NFL analysts from around the country graded the Detroit Lions 2015 draft class:

Bleacher Report grade: B-plus
Comments: Every football fan watching the draft wondered what the Lions were doing reaching for a guard with the No. 28 overall pick. Then they heard Tomlinson's inspirational story, and they all wanted the world's biggest future neurosurgeon on their team. Tomlinson, second-year center Travis Swanson, third-year guard Larry Warford and veteran swing guard/center Manny Ramirez—acquired in the trade down to 28—form an imposing interior line.
Not only will they help keep quarterback Matthew Stafford clean, they'll open holes for Abdullah, who ran behind Tomlinson at the Senior Bowl. Abdullah should give the Lions the explosive, versatile back they never quite had in Reggie Bush.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper grade: B
Comments: The Lions were involved in one of the few trades we saw in a semi-sleepy Round 1, and the strategy was clear: Fix the offensive line, particularly on the interior. They let the Broncos move up and added Manny Ramirez in pick swap, which landed them a player who has a real shot to start at center, which was a trouble spot for them in 2014. After moving down, they took Laken Tomlinson, a player I had rated as the No. 1 guard in the draft -- again, that's a guy who should start immediately at left guard. Even if Tomlinson is a bit of a reach, you added one starter and potentially two with the value of a single pick. That's not too bad. Reggie Bush is gone, but Ameer Abdullah is now here. This was about where I thought Abdullah would go -- solid pick. Alex Carter gives them some needed depth in the secondary, and the addition of Gabe Wright gives them much-needed depth on the interior of the defensive line. Wright could make some plays as a rotation player. Quadre Diggs is an intriguing physical talent who has the chance to stick, and Corey Robinson is a massive tackle who might end up at guard. The Lions clearly wanted to improve the interior of the offensive line and add useful depth on defense, and they accomplished those things. Abdullah will also be a fun one to watch.

Sports Illustrated grade: A-minus
Comments from SI’s Doug Farrar: The Lions have dealt with offensive line issues even as they've established themselves as one of the NFL's more prolific pass-heavy teams in the last few seasons. With their first two picks in the draft, they sought to bring more balance to the Force, so to speak. First-round guard Laken Tomlinson from Duke is a big, smart, aggressive player whose stock has been rising. And Nebraska back Ameer Abdullah is a great fit for Jim Caldwell's scheme as a pure one-cut-and-go runner. Third-round cornerback Alex Carter from Stanford may project better as a safety in the long run. He's a little too slow in his transitions to deal with the best outside receivers. Fourth-round defensive tackle Gabe Wright from Auburn won't make anyone forget about Ndamukong Suh, but he is a reliable rotational player with some production potential. The potential sleeper pick here is Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs, a four-year starter who's the brother of Quentin Jammer and projects pretty well as a slot corner.

NFL.com grade: B
Comments: In a span of about 30 minutes, the Lions upgraded their interior offensive line and managed to get more picks in the process. Matthew Stafford is no doubt quite happy at this news, and while some saw Tomlinson as a reach at the tail end of the first round, he's a safe pick that will help the team. Abdullah was Mayock's No. 3 back in the draft and is a steal at the end of the second round. He'll be a nice fit in the Lions offense while replacing Reggie Bush. Carter is a smart corner who could be a nice weapon to combat the other quarterbacks and wideouts in the division.The Lions addressed some big needs early while moving around in the draft. They took chances on some players' development on Day 3.

Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com grade: B-minus
Comments: I loved the pick of guard Laken Tomlinson in the first round. He gives them a great pair of guards with Larry Warford. They will be able to run the football now with those two power players. … Over the course of the three days, the Lions did a solid job. It's clear they want to help their run game. They also traded to get Denver center Manny Ramirez, who should start. Tomlinson isn't a sexy pick, but he is a good player.

Evan Silva at Rotoworld grade: C-plus
Comments: GM Martin Mayhew began his draft by acquiring two fifth-round picks and useful reserve G/C Manuel Ramirez from the Broncos at the cost of dropping just five spots in round one. The Lions were surprisingly hot after CB/S tweener Carter on day two, sending the 143rd pick to division-rival Minnesota in exchange for just an eight-spot move up the board. Early on day three, the Lions gave up a 2016 third-round pick for No. 113. Tomlinson may not have offered ideal "value" at No. 28, but is a pro-ready mauler with underrated pass-blocking ability. Abdullah will run circles around Joique Bell in Lions camp and spark Detroit's previously plodding run game. Carter, Wright, and Burton are players I wasn't especially high on during the pre-draft phase. I do think Robinson was an excellent flier. Although this wasn't my favorite draft from top to bottom, Mayhew attacked multiple needs and made his team better.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)



7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So according to all the so-called experts, and you, everything is just peachy keen for the Lions. See you in January when they wind up 8-8. It's Caldwell's history. It's franchise history. It's in their collective DNA. All the rest is just hype for the suckers.It happens every year.

1:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one's hyped shit. They have a tough schedule everyone knows it. Make it to the playoffs anything can happen. Defend the den.

1:53 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? The hype around the Lions every year in Detroit borders on insanity. Sure they have a tough schedule compared to the patsy one last year. Playoffs might be a possibility, but the Super Bowl is not. Why would any reasonable person continue to spend their time and hard earned money defending a historic loser? They are what they are and it is what it is. All the hype in the world cant change that.

2:24 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanna know how the world knows you are both virgins? You two comment on stories about the Lions draft late on a Sunday night. HAHAHA

9:51 AM 
Anonymous BJ Rassam said...

All in all not a bad draft for the Lions.

11:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're virgins for commenting on the Lions draft? So what does that make Paula who is obsessed with them year round? HAHA indeed.

12:53 AM 
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