Three recently posted articles on Pro Football Focus’ website kept the praise for the Detroit Lions’ 2021 rookie class rolling. In an article posted on Thursday, two Lions rookies were among the 25 highest rated (according to PFF’s grading system). In a separate article by Seth Galina posted on Thursday, a former Trojan playing for the Lions was named the biggest surprise at wide receiver this season. On Friday, the service gave rankings by team for overall draft classes; unfortunately, the team class rankings article is paywalled but we can tell you that Detroit was very high.
Coming back to the article whose content is public, offensive tackle Penei Sewell was the ninth-highest graded rookie on the season while Week 18’s Rookie of the Week checked in at number 11 on the list. Earlier this week on Tuesday, we pointed out that PFF named Sewell and defensive tackle Alim McNeill to their 2021 All-Rookie team, but Amon-Ra St. Brown did not make it. How can he be a top-rated rookie but not make the team? Early first-round picks (all three in the top ten selections) Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Ja’marr Chase were unfortunately rated higher than St. Brown.
How optimistic should Lions fans be about the future? When it comes to adding young talent, the team looks to be on track. Even setting aside the three rookies highlighted by PFF, there are the undrafted players who made significant contributions this year like AJ Parker, Jerry Jacobs, and Riley Patterson. And though they didn’t score out well according to PFF’s system, the Lions even found things to like about what they got from other rookies like Levi Onwuzurike and Derrick Barnes. Then there are other young players like Craig Reynolds and Evan Brown who gained considerable pro experience this season.
Is it time to start pouring the Kool-Aid and ordering up Amon-Ra St. Brown swag? It seems like PFF is on board. Shouldn’t you be, too?
Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes.
- The third and final part of an interview with general manager Brad Holmes by Fox 2’s Dan Miller posted to the station’s video page. You can also see the first and second parts of the interview on their site.
- The Martian Gleepgorps better look out:
- Lions legend Barry Sanders was a guest on Good Morning Football to talk about running backs in the playoffs, but also about the outlook for the Detroit Lions. You can watch the entire segment in the embedded video viewer on the GMFB site.
Barry Sanders on @gmfb: "I think coach Campbell has a better handle on what he's facing. Anytime you lose 13 games, you know you've got work to do. ... But we're looking up. Coach Campbell, he knows what it takes to win. Now it's about continuing to instill that in the players."— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) January 14, 2022
- The latest draft prospect article from Ben Raven at MLive features five edge defenders the Lions might be interested in.
- You never know when an obscure piece of information will be revealed. Erik has already updated his contract status tracker:
At seasons end. there are always a few players that were signed through the following season that we were unaware of.— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) January 14, 2022
This year LB Curtis Boldon and TE Jared Pinkney were presumed ERFAs but their exclusion here got me digging and they indeed were signed for the 2022 season. https://t.co/kfvQOyDLrE
- Former Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith is the new running backs coach at The U.
- It’s D’Andre Swift’s birthday today!