When looking at the NFL Draft, everyone wants immediate gratification. Teams are hoping to get contributions out of the players from Day 1, and fans want to know immediately how well their team did on draft day.
But that’s dangerous thinking. If a general manager goes into a draft hoping only to fill immediate needs with immediate starters, they are going to find themselves in a load of trouble in the near future. And fans may gobble up draft grades just hours after the picks are made, but that analysis is as close to meaningless as you can get in this business.
That’s why many people like to wait at least three years before judging a draft class.
Justin Rogers of The Detroit News did just that this week, giving out individual grades for each pick in the Detroit Lions’ 2016 NFL Draft class. You can view his grades here, but his overall grade for the class was a solid B+.
Before we give grades of our own, here’s a reminder of the Detroit Lions’ draft haul that year:
Round 1, Pick 16: OT Taylor Decker
Round 2, Pick 15: DT A’Shawn Robinson
Round 3, Pick 33: C Graham Glasgow
Round 4, Pick 13: S Miles Killebrew
Round 5, Pick 12: G/T Joe Dahl
Round 5, Pick 32: LB Antwione Williams
Round 6, Pick 16: QB Jake Rudock
Round 6, Pick 27: DE Anthony Zettel
Round 6, Pick 35: LS Jimmy Landes
Round 7, Pick 15: RB Dwayne Washington
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What grade do you give the Lions’ 2016 NFL Draft class?
My answer: I’m not going to be quite as forgiving as Rogers. While I agree with Justin that the Lions did a heck of a job with their first three picks, the failure of the next seven cannot be ignored.
I’m not going to ding general manager Bob Quinn for Anthony Zettel. For where he was picked, the Lions actually got a really good return on that investment, and it’s not on Quinn that Zettel didn’t fit into the team’s plans after a coaching change.
However, Miles Killebrew, Joe Dahl, Antwione Williams, Jake Rudock, Jimmy Landes and Dwayne Washington have all either been complete non-factors or have really struggled in their limited playing time. Individually, it doesn’t hurt missing on a few Day 3 picks. Collectively, missing on nearly all of them is bad.
Detroit entered this draft with 10 picks and left with 10 picks. Having all of that Day 3 ammo provided a great opportunity to potentially trade up and get an earlier-round prospect that Quinn may have really liked. Instead, he chose to stand pat and collect guys that would amount to training camp and practice squad fodder. That’s not acceptable when you have so much Day 3 draft capital.
All that being said, this was Quinn’s first draft and he was likely overwhelmed dealing with entirely new resources from the ones he had grown accustomed to in New England. It likely takes a couple years to get settled from a general manager standpoint, especially for a first-time GM.
Quinn did well enough to get three potential long-term starters with Detroit’s first three picks, and that’s good enough for me to give him a B-.
What grade do you give the Lions 2016 NFL Draft?
This poll is closed