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Notes: Lions receiving respectable returns from 2016 draft

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While much of the attention recently has been focused on the two newest crops of rookies brought in during the Matt Patricia era many young players now hitting their stride and transitioning to becoming veterans from even earlier drafts surely warrant another look. Our Kent Lee Platte revisited the 2017 draft class, which included names like Golladay, Davis, and Agnew, but The Athletic’s Dane Brugler dialed the wayback machine even further to re-grade the 2016 draft classes team by team (subscription required).

Upon further review, Brugler gave the Lions a middle of the pack B grade overall. Both Brugler and Chris Burke, who provided some additional commentary in the article, liked the early-round trench players general manager Bob Quinn selected on both sides of the ball: Taylor Decker, Graham Glasgow, and A’Shawn Robinson. While the team has probably not gotten as much as it hoped for from Miles Killebrew and Joe Dahl, Burke’s judgement that Detroit got an unspectacular but “pretty good return” on its picks seems quite fair.

  • Pro Football Focus has a new reason for Lions fans to be optimistic about second-year safety Tracy Walker. In limited action last season, he was excellent in late game situations with a close score:

  • Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press went through everyone drafted by the Lions and still with the team to understand what “the Lions are so giddy about internally” when it comes to the draftees of 2018 and 2019.

  • We are not sure about invoking the 1990s and the phrase “old school” in the same sentence, but running back C.J. Anderson is on board with establishing the run:

  • Did you know Lions safety Quandre Diggs was an outstanding spread-option quarterback in high school? Nino was a two-way player who won accolades on offense in addition to all-district honors as a defensive back. He is also an aesthetic design visionary:

  • Jeff Risdon over at Lions Wire thinks ex-Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is unlikely to come to Detroit as a free agent, but the contract McCoy ends up with may influence the DT market price to extend Damon Harrison Jr.

  • Head coach Matt Patricia will give the instruction for drivers to start their engines at the Michigan International Speedway next week: