This week, we have heard several people in the media trash the Detroit Lions’ 2017 draft haul. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein ranked their selections 30th in the NFL. CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco dropped them all the way to 24th in his power ranking, a 10-spot plummet. But that’s just the media, what do they know?
Well, ESPN went out and tapped a handful of sources from within the NFL and got opinions on every team’s draft (Insider required). Unfortunately, the opinions on Detroit’s draft aren’t all that much better from inside the league.
“One evaluator thought the Lions had the NFL's worst draft this year,” ESPN’s Mike Sando reported.
This anonymous evaluator’s criticism, like many, specifically addressed the second-round selection of Gators cornerback Teez Tabor.
"They view Teez Tabor as their Darius Slay to play opposite him," the evaluator said. "I do not think Tabor translates to the NFL, because he is not athletic enough. He has length. That works if you have a consistent pass rush. Do they have one?"
Tabor’s athleticism is a hotly contended issue, but his tape is undeniably impressive. Still, it’s interesting to see an NFL evaluator share the opinion of many critical to the Tabor selection, and they bring up a good point about Detroit’s lack of pass rush.
However, the anonymous source wasn’t all negative towards the Lions draft.
"They are going to pick guys that fit them and not really care what anyone else thinks," this evaluator said. "It has worked for the Patriots -- sometimes."
Obviously any comparison to the Patriots is going to be flattering, even if New England’s success in the draft has been a bit overstated in the past. Still, if there’s any team you’d like to draw comparisons to, it’s the Patriots. And it’s obviously an easy comparison to make with Lions general manager Bob Quinn cutting his evaluator teeth with the Patriots for the first 15 years of his career.
It appears the Lions are going to get a lot of flak for their selections in this year’s draft, but as the anonymous NFL evaluator said, they don’t (and shouldn’t) care. After all, Bob Quinn already has a knack for turning nonbelievers into believers: