Here are Maylock's top 5 for each position from NFL.com, I also clicked on each player and wrote down there draft grade, which apparently wasn't done by Maylock because things don't quite line up. None the less, it is interesting to look at actual draft grades to see how strong each position is and how much fall off from players 1 to 5 their actually is. I feel like looking at actual draft grade numbers takes some of the subjectivity out of draft strategy discussions.
Here are my observations based on these numbers:
-QB class looks weak besides Geno Smith
-RB class has no real standouts, lots of mediocrity
-WR class looks solid and deep, no one ranked elite though
-TE class has no real standouts, lots of mediocrity
-C class looks very weak
-G Warmack has the highest rank of all prospects, Cooper and Warford also grade well, but after the top 3 there is a big drop off.
-T The top three prospects are ranked highly, with the 4th and 5th prospects also ranked well, a deep class at T is indicated by the numbers
-4-3 DE class looks solid and deep, no one ranked elite though, but Ansah is rated the highest by a slight margin.
-3-4 DE, the top three are ranked well, but there is a large drop off after that.
-DT, the top two are ranked well, but there is a large drop off after that.
-4-3 OLB, the top two are ranked well, but there is a large drop off after that.
-3-4 OLB, the top two are ranked very well, but there is large drop off after that.
ILB, top three are ranked okay, with a large drop off after that.
CB-Slight drop after Milliner, then two prospects are decent, with a big drop after that
Blue Chip prospects by position (85 or above):
-4-3 DE x5
-3-4 DE x3
-4-3 OLB x2
-3-4 OLB x2
Conclusions that are useful to the Lions:
That makes 30 "blue chip" players... so if a few teams reach on QB's and other players we should be able to get a highly ranked player in the 2nd round. For positions the Lions need most DE, OT, the classes are deep with OT being ranked higher with the top three positions, Lane Johnson is ranked only slightly behind the top two OT"s, making me feel better if he is our pick at 5. If the Lions want a sure fire difference maker at OLB or CB they would likely need to make that there first pick or else trade up from the 2nd to secure one of these only 4 standout players. With the depth at the WR position there could be a good value pick there for the Lions at the top of the 2nd round. But they would never pick a WR in the 2nd round right? The DE position rankings are similar to WR, the Lions could get a blue chip player to fall to them in the 2nd, but with the premium that is always placed on pass rushers, it's probably less likely than a solid WR falling to us.
I guess based on the deep rankings for OT and DE, the Lions two biggest needs, ideally they we'll trade their #5 pick in the first round and acquire two later first round picks, taking highly rated players at both the DE and OT positions they need, with one of the blue chip OLB's or CB's (next biggest positional needs probably besides maybe OG and C) as a back up plan if their DE/OT targets ends up not being there after they trade back. Then hopefully still get that quality WR that falls into the 2nd round.
If a trade back from 5 isn't possible I could see the Lions going with Lane Johnson at #5, with the other two OT's being gone I'm sure. Then trading back up into the end of the first round to get the 4-3 DE prospect they need. Or they could stay put at the top of the 2nd round and hope a quality DE or, WR (back up plans) falls to them.
As far as OG, I'm just not convinced this position is important enough to draft in the first or second round... Maybe it could make a big difference for the Lions though it they keep on running up the middle over and over and over again this year.
What do you guys think? Does this Analysis change, or help bolster any opinions about what the Lions should do in the Draft?