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Thursday open thread: What lessons can the Lions take from the 2021 draft?

Brad Holmes looks to build off last season’s success.

NFL Draft - Amon-Ra St. Brown Photo by Maximilian Haupt/picture alliance via Getty Images

It is nearly impossible to accurately grade a draft just 12 months later, as many NFL players need a couple years to really show who they are. Early returns from Brad Holmes’ first rodeo are positive, though, with multiple selections projected to be long-term starters. At the very least, he earned himself some benefit of the doubt going into Year Two.

This upcoming draft will be vital for Holmes and the front office, as the Detroit Lions own three picks in the top 34 and still have holes all over the roster. While fans and analysts never know exactly what to expect heading, there are definitely some takeaways from what transpired 12 months ago.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

What lessons can the Lions take from the 2021 draft?

My answer: Two picks really stand out from Detroit’s most recent rookie class. The headline-grabber down the stretch was Amon-Ra St. Brown, and even if his performance was not as sensational, Holmes’ patience waiting until the fourth round to take the receiver he wanted instead of panicking on Day Two should be a model the Lions can lean on going forward. It is always tempting to reach to fill a positional need, but Detroit does not have that luxury at this time with so many pending issues.

Another lesson is to make sure there are solid contingency plans at the top. Last year it was no secret that the Lions were interested in Ja’Marr Chase. When the Bengals snagged the dynamic receiver just a couple picks ahead of Detroit, Holmes had no issue pivoting to Penei Sewell, who looks like an A+ selection. The Lions could find themselves in another very similar situation this year, especially if they trade down if/when Aidan Hutchinson is selected. Holmes will need to make sure he is extremely confident in however the board may look when the Lions are up at their lower spot, something he did expertly last season.

Your turn.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.