ESPN's Mel Kiper has released his 2012 NFL Draft grades. Kiper himself said that you can't grade the performance of a draft class this soon after the draft, so he is grading what happened this year strictly based on how well teams filled needs and what value they got for the picks.
For the Detroit Lions, Kiper graded their job of filling needs as a B- and their job of getting value as a B+. Overall, he gave them a B, and he seemed impressed with the value of the Lions' first three picks.
The board broke pretty well for Detroit. The Lions need to get younger on the offensive line and I didn't expect Riley Reiff to be there at No. 23. Corner is a huge need, so I was a little surprised they went for Ryan Broyles in Round 2 -- they certainly don't have problems throwing the ball -- but if he hadn't been hurt I think he goes late in Round 1. Again, could turn into major value. Dwight Bentley still on the board at No. 85 overall was a stroke of luck. I thought he could have gone in Round 2, so the Broyles pick didn't hurt as much.
Considering the Lions did manage to fill a few needs, especially on defense, I'm surprised he only gave them a B- for that criterion. Kiper did think the Lions should've drafted a running back, though, and he seemed to be considering Ronnell Lewis as a linebacker, which could help explain the grade. Lewis is likely going to be a defensive end for the Lions, but with him listed as a linebacker, the Lions' final six picks are all linebackers and cornerbacks. Perhaps Kiper was thinking that they might have over-addressed some of their needs while ignoring others.
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