Value players remain a critical piece to the foundation of an NFL franchise. A plethora of said players throughout the NFL have come from the later rounds of the NFL draft. Thus far, Martin Mayhew and his staff have done a fairly solid job of accumulating talent in the mid to late rounds that have made an impact toward the resurgence of the organization.
Deandre Levy (3rd round), Sammie Lee Hill (4th round), Willie Young (7th round), and Aaron Berry (undrafted) each played key roles for the Lions this past season. There has, however, been those that have not worked out due to performance or injury. Aaron Brown (6th round), Derrick Williams (3rd round), and Jason Fox (4th round) immediately come to mind. While it may be argued that the jury is still out on Fox, his clock is ticking. Doug Hogue (5th round) remains a question mark as a developing linebacker.
Let's now re-examine the aforementioned sleeper players from my recent series. In order to continue creating depth the Lions will need to find a hidden gem or two in the upcoming NFL draft.
C - Mike Brewster, C - Philip Blake, C - Mike Wedige, OG - Rishawn Johnson, OG - Ryan Miller, OG/OT - James Brown, OT - Nate Potter, OT - Jeff Adams, and OT - Mitchell Schwartz
Skill Position Players
RB - Cyrus Gray, RB - Marc Tyler, RB - Darrell Scott, RB - Edwin Baker, WR - Joe Adams, WR - Marvin McNutt, WR - Ryan Broyles, WR - Keshawn Martin, WR - Jordan White, and TE - Michael Egnew
CB - Josh Norman, CB - Coryell Judie, CB - Casey Hayward, CB - Omar Bolden, S - Brandon Tyler, S - Darius Prelow
MLB - James-Michael Johnson, MLB - Max Gruder, MLB - Nigel Bradham, OLB - Terrell Manning, OLB - Emmanuel Acho, LB - Danny Trevathan
DE - Billy WInn, DE - Cam Johnson, DE - Malik Jackson, DE - Donte Moss, DE - Darius Nall, DE - James Brooks
The combine, running February 22nd - 28th, will inevitably raise and lower the stock of draft prospects. There will be an updated series, and new mock draft following the event.