With the 2021 NFL just around the corner, the new Detroit Lions regime may want to take a look at the franchise’s draft history and learn from the past.
In the Lions’ case, some things have panned out — and some have most certainly not. Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner combed through picks and offers his list of the best draft decision for each NFL team in the past five years.
“There’s not a lot for Detroit to hang their hat on over the past five drafts,” he begins, bluntly.
In fact, in a separate article on each team’s biggest draft mistake in the past five years, Renner criticized Detroit for failing to understanding positional value. He explains Detroit consistently drafts low-impact positions with higher picks. That’s why he says drafting Kenny Golladay was the best move they’ve made in several years.
“Golladay, who was taken semi-early in the draft and plays a valuable position, is now easily their most valuable asset. Funny how that works. Three receivers from the 2017 draft were selected in the top 10, and Golladay has outperformed all of them,” Renner writes.
In case you’d like to challenge his selection, here’s a list of the Lions’ draft picks over the last five years and at which number they were selected:
- 2020: Jeff Okudah (3), D’Andre Swift (35), Julian Okwara (67), Jonah Jackson (75), Logan Stenberg (121), Quintez Cephus (166), Jason Huntley (172), John Penisini (197), Jashon Cornell (235)
- 2019: T.J. Hockenson (8), Jahlani Tavai (43), Will Harris (81), Austin Bryant (117), Amani Oruwariye (146), Travis Fulgham (184), Ty Johnson (186), Isaac Nauta (224), P.J. Johnson (229)
- 2018: Frank Ragnow (20), Kerryon Johnson (43), Tracy Walker (82), Da’Shawn Hand (114), Tyrell Cosby (153), Nick Bawden (237)
- 2017: Jarrad Davis (21), Teez Tabor (53), Kenny Golladay (96), Jalen Reeves-Maybin (124), Michael Roberts (127), Jamal Agnew (165), Jeremiah Ledbetter (205), Brad Kaaya (215), Pat O’Connor (250)
- 2016: Taylor Decker (16), A’Shawn Robinson (46), Graham Glasgow (95), Miles Killebrew (11), Joe Dahl (151), Antwione Williams (169), Jake Rudock (191), Anthony Zettel (202), Jimmy Landes (210), Dwayne Washington (236)
Onto the rest of your notes.
- The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett explains why he thinks the Lions should recreate their 2010 blueprint to succeed in the free agency game.
- “We don’t yet know the kind of defense we will see in Detroit with first-time DC Aaron Glenn, but one thing is for sure: They need more playmakers in the secondary.” PFF’s Anthony Treash selects the Lions as one of the landing spots for the draft’s top 12 defensive back prospects.
- It’s interesting to see how analysts/writers rank free agents. Three Lions made the list of top 101, including Kenny G at No. 15. See where the rest fall.
- Over on Turf Show Times, our Rams friends wonder if there’s a chance Golladay and Matthew Stafford reunite in Los Angeles.
- Gotta love a bold take. Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon offers six hot predictions on the Lions and free agency.
- The NFL has yet to finalize the 2021 salary cap. Detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman takes a look at how the final number could affect the Lions’ plans for free agency.