Earlier in the day, we noted that pulling in draft grades from 13 prominent NFL analysts resulted in the Detroit Lions’ 2019 draft class ranking in the bottom 10 in the NFL. Interestingly, the Lions didn’t get a grade above a B+ nor a grade below a C-.
However, there’s at least one voice out there that believes the Lions nailed this draft. Dane Brugler of The Athletic power ranked all 32 draft classes and the Lions came in fifth overall. The only teams with better drafts were Washington, Buffalo, Arizona and Tennessee.
“I was also a huge fan of LB Jahlani Tavai and several of the Lions’ picks on Day 3, but Hockenson can be a true difference-maker for the Detroit offense,” Brugler wrote. “He will make an immediate impact as both a blocker and pass catcher, helping spring runs for Kerryon Johnson and providing Matthew Stafford with a valuable target.”
If you’ve been following draft coverage all weekend, you may remember Brugler’s name as one of the few NFL Draft analysts that had Lions second-round pick Jahlani Tavai as a Day 2 prospect. He was Brugler’s fourth-best linebacker in this class.
Tavai was one of my favorite players in this draft. "Out of sight, out of mind" for many because he played at Hawaii and his shoulder kept him from the Senior Bowl and Combine.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 27, 2019
But Tavis is an ideal modern day LB. Inside-out versatility and can play any down. https://t.co/mAZWUKDuPy
It’s just one opinion, but it’s nice to see some support for Detroit’s draft picks.
- Check out this emotional video of T.J. Hockenson reading a letter from his mentor after being drafted by the Lions.
- If you don’t know the story of Lions seventh-round pick PJ Johnson, read it now. The Lions’ new nose tackle grew up witnessing drive-by attacks, seeing close friends killed, had his appendix burst, but persevered through it all.
- Here’s what a few Lions draft picks tweeted out after being named to the team:
let’s rock out in MO-town baby https://t.co/cdGa5FMEVc— Austin Bryant (@_austinbryant7) April 27, 2019
- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press spoke to Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz to reflect on T.J. Hockenson’s college career.
- Interesting note from the draft: had Josh Allen not fallen to the Jaguars at seven, Jacksonville likely would have taken Hockenson with their pick. (full article here)
Albert Breer conformed in his MMQB column today that Jags likely would have taken Hockenson had Josh Allen not slid so far. You really wonder how that would radically have changed the Lions draft. Do we trade down in that case? Take Bush (even with the size issue)? Williams? pic.twitter.com/GJI7E3Uhtv— Scott Warheit (@swarheit) April 29, 2019
- MLive’s Kyle Meinke has four Lions players that are on the hot seat following the draft.