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Mel Kiper's 2011 Draft Grades: Detroit Lions Top List

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Mel Kiper's 2011 NFL Draft grades have two teams in the A range: the Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions. Both the Lions and Bengals received an A- for their picks in this year's draft. Every other team received a B+ or lower.

Kiper separated his draft grades into a few categories this year. One gives a grade for how well teams filled their needs. Another category grades teams based on the value they got. Finally, there is an overall category where a final grade is handed out.

The Lions received a C+ for how well they filled their needs, which isn't too surprising. Kiper pondered if it is possible to "love a Detroit draft when the Lions didn't add major help at cornerback or offensive tackle." His answer to that question was to ask him after free agency. Based on how the Lions' draft went, most expect them to fill their major needs in free agency since they stuck to their plan of drafting the best players available.

While the Lions didn't set out to fill all of their needs in the draft, Kiper did give them an A+ for the value of their picks. He called Nick Fairley "perhaps the steal of the draft" and said that Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure and Doug Hogue "could have gone earlier." The great value the Lions got and all of the talent they added is what made Kiper decide to give the Lions an A- for the overall category, which ties them with the Bengals for the highest overall grade in the 2011 NFL Draft.

For more coverage of the 2011 NFL Draft, check out Mocking The Draft, SB Nation's NFL Draft hub, SB Nation Detroit's NFL Draft StoryStream and Pride Of Detroit's 2011 NFL Draft archive.