After the Detroit Lions traded down in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, it was hard to grasp their intentions for the 121st pick. As we saw the last legitimate nose tackle come off the board in Leki Fotu, it wasn’t clear if the Lions would go with a skill position player like a wide receiver or add to their defensive talent.
It turns out the Lions picked things up where they left them last night by doubling up on the guard position. Kentucky’s Logan Stenberg wasn’t a player on a lot of analysts’ lists of fits for Detroit, especially after taking Jonah Jackson in the previous round, but digging a little deeper, it’s clear why the Lions liked him.
Here are my thoughts on the selection of Stenberg.
If you’re looking for an aggressive mauler in the running game, Stenberg is your guy. Look at any draft profile, and you’ll see these adjective thrown around: “mauler,” “angry,” “mean,” “dirty.”
Hell, he called himself nasty 10 words into his introductory press conference with the Lions.
But, by far, my favorite line of analysis on Stenberg comes from PFF’s Draft Guide:
“He leads the NCAA by my unofficial tally in pancake blocks with the running back well past him.”
Of course, nastiness comes with a big downside, too. Stenberg has been flagged 24 times in the past two seasons alone.
Ideal guard size
With pick 121 in the 2020 NFL Draft, the #Lions selected Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 25, 2020
He posted a good #RAS with great size, okay speed, okay explosiveness, okay agility at the OG position.https://t.co/PS5cIjVW34#OnePride pic.twitter.com/ROnu1SrLBZ
At 6-foot-6, 317 pounds Stenberg has the quintessential frame for an NFL guard. He carries the size fairly well with good-but-not-great athleticism. If he can respond to coaching—and he already has a leg up having participated in the Senior Bowl (although on the Bengals-coached team)—he could certainly be a starter sooner rather than later.
Inexperienced as a pass protector
At Kentucky, Stenberg didn’t get to pass block much, which plays to his aggressive nature. But that’s going to change quite a bit in Detroit. While the Lions would like to run the ball more than they have in the past, Matthew Stafford is still the star of this team, and that means Stenberg is going to have to adjust his game significantly.
The good news here is that when asked to pass protect, Stenberg performed pretty darn well at Kentucky.
Logan Stenberg in 2018 & 2019:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 25, 2020
601 Pass-block snaps
0 Sacks allowed pic.twitter.com/7J0TWFqjfU
I don’t think Stenberg is going to walk into Detroit and immediately assume a starting job. His adjustment to the NFL will take some serious coaching, but Stenberg’s attitude will undoubtedly be up for the challenge. Getting bigger and meaner in the trenches is something this team has been seeking for a long time, and now they may actually have it.
I think this pick fits a bigger need than many would suggest, even after the Jackson pick, and so I’m happy with both the value and the position of this pick.
Stenberg is a high-ceiling player that could potentially even start his rookie year. That’s solid value midway through the fourth, so I give this a B.
Grade the selection of Logan Stenberg
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