If there’s a part of #DraftSZN that proves to be the most annoying part of the event time and time again, it’s what happens in the aftermath of the draft. It’s in the pissing contests people get over not only the players, or where those players were picked, but it’s in the arguments launched over whether or not it’s necessary to have draft grades. As is always my advice, as long as it isn’t hurting anyone emotionally or physically, relax and let people enjoy things.
All that being said, we’re here in the first place because the draft was an overall success if we’re able to have a “worst” pick. But to kick things off, I thought this was Bob Quinn’s best draft and the one I’ve felt the most optimistic about within the first 48 hours of the draft’s conclusion. Detroit addressed needs, prepared for the future, and made the moves necessary to fully realize this team in Matt Patricia’s vision.
With the good comes the bad, though, so let’s get to today’s Question of the Day:
Plenty of my colleagues have run to label the drafting a D’Andre Swift the worst draft pick made by the Lions, primarily because of the positional value aspect of taking a running back 35th overall. It’s a fair point to make, but it ignores the obvious: if Detroit knew Swift was their guy, they had to draft him at No. 35 or else they would have had to trade up to get him—something I know those same people aren’t a fan of doing this early in the draft. Either that or the Lions would have had to settle for a lesser back in an admittedly weaker class for runners. Instead, Detroit got the best running back in the draft, especially for the way they’ll utilize Swift in space as a receiver both out of the backfield and in the slot.
So no, I don’t think the Lions worst pick was Swift at the top of the second round. Detroit’s worst pick wasn’t until Day 3, and I know, it seems a bit nitpicky to label such a late draft pick the worst pick considering the alternatives, but here’s why Quintez Cephus was the worst pick of the Lions’ 2020 draft class.
There’s a common misconception floating around on Lions Twitter that Cephus is going to be for the Lions what Anquan Boldin was back in 2016. Boldin’s playing weight was about 15-20 pounds heavier than Cephus, so he’s going to have to put on some weight to bully and overpower cornerbacks the way Boldin did. Athletically, they have similar profiles, and while Cephus was able to outmuscle corners at the collegiate level, it won’t happen the same way in the NFL, especially considering his athleticism—or rather lack thereof.
To elaborate on that, Cephus is the type of player who lacks a second gear. He doesn’t have that burst to his route running that you see so many big and powerful receivers have at the top of their routes. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. are perfect examples of guys with a capped top-end speed, but have an explosiveness in their routes that can help them create the tiniest bit of separation needed for Matthew Stafford to get them in a position to make a play on the ball.
What was the Lions’ worst 2020 NFL Draft pick?
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