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Notes: Detroit Lions receive highest 2021 NFL Draft grade among NFC North

Lions receive highest draft class grade of any NFC North team

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Don’t let the three win total fool you, many have labeled year one of the Detroit Lions’ rebuild a success. General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell checked off many of the requisite boxes associated with year one of a complete rebuild.

They bit the bullet and shed contracts that were weighing the roster down financially. They fully leaned into the youth of their roster, allowing players to learn and adapt on the fly. And by the looks of their early returns, their initial draft class appears to be shaping up quite nicely.

During his recap of the 2021 NFL rookie grades, NFL.com’s Gennaro Filice commented on the Lions rebuilding efforts saying, “Remember how freakin’ AMPED Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell were to select Sewell at No. 7 overall? Boisterous bro hugs, impassioned table slaps, full-throated WOOOOOOs that’d make Ric Flair proud — that draft-night prospect call really had it all”.

Filice went on to touch on the success the Lions had with UDFA’s in 2021, “And Holmes really did some fine work in the undrafted free-agent market, with a half dozen players providing Year 1 contributions. The two most notable names: Jacobs, who was the team’s best cornerback before suffering an ACL tear in December, and Patterson, who settled the kicker position by converting 13 of 14 field goal attempts over the final seven weeks of the season.”

After assigning the Lions an A- for their inaugural rookie class, Filice handed the Green Bay Packers a B, the Chicago Bears a B-. and the Minnesota Vikings a C for their respective classes.

With so much change coming for the Bears and Vikings, and with the uncertainty looming around the quarterback situation in Green Bay, the Lions may have picked a good time to hit the reset button when they did.

And now onto the rest of today’s notes:

  • The Lions continue to try and make an impact in the community, this time partnering with a local Black-owned restaurant, The Block Detroit.

  • An interesting thread on protection-adjusted efficiency numbers for NFL quarterbacks.

  • Yet another reason why that football stadium in Maryland should be condemned and leveled.