I went back and regraded the Detroit Lions 2021 Draft

Been a bit, hasn't it?

Time to regrade picks ladies and gentlemen. Holmes definitely hit some of his picks from the first go-around, and he missed on some of them as well. Yes, I'm aware that just a year into their career's isn't a fair measuring stick, but for arguments sake, let's just come a consensus. How did these players fare under the legendary regime under MCDC's first kneecap tour? I'll be posting my original grade, followed by my re-grade.

Obviously, these are just my opinions. Let's roll.

Penei Sewell (OT Oregon, R1 7th Overall)

My Original Grade: A+

My Current Grade: A+

A huge sigh of relief here. Sewell came and did not disappoint. Some may argue that his five sacks allowed are a huge knock, but consider he went from left tackle in college (which was two years ago because of the opt-out.) Then, he was practicing right tackle in the offseason in preseason, then got moved back to left tackle when Decker was on the IR. Once Decker was back, Sewell was re-moved again to right tackle, where he prospered for the rest of the season with Decker settling in.

Sewell gave up four sacks in two weeks, while at left tackle. He wasn't completely healthy at the time either. Since his move to right tackle, Penei was tremendous. He only got better as the season went on, and he just turned 21 midseason. He posted the best run blocking grade for pff by any rookie OT since 2009. Considering that Sewell's worst was when he was still 20 years old, he's only getting better. Sewell is off to a spectacular start, and he's on a path that may lead him to the promise land.

Keep cooking Penei.

Levi Onwuzirke (DT Washington, R2 41st Overall)

My Original Grade: B-

My Current Grade: C-

I wrote that I was miffed we didn't snag JOK here. Unfortunately, that feeling only amplified over the course of the season. Levi played sparingly and when he did play, it was far from impressive. JOK on the other hand was versatile, not the "Will Harris" style of versatile either. The dude was seriously impressive.

Holmes did come out say it was more of a redshirt year for Levi, which is both good and bad. The good is that he can't have a worse season than he just had as a rookie... right? The bad is that if it truly was a redshirt year for Onwuzirke that was expected in the first place, he shouldn't have been drafted in the second round. Thank mercy for John Dorsey convincing Holmes to not trade up into the first round to select him, because he was far from ideal to where he was drafted and what was expected from him.

Alim McNeill (DT NC State, R3 72nd Overall)

My Original Grade: B+

My Current Grade: A-

For where he was drafted, McNeill did what he was expected to do and a little bit more. Drafted to be a nose tackle, McNeill did well enough on the year to earn 2nd team all-rookie by PFF. At the time I was heavily perplexed by double-dipping in what was heavily considered to be a horrible defensive tackle draft. However, it's a good thing they did, because McNeill showed he deserved to start in the NFL.

He would show flashes of destruction as a pass rusher and then follow it up with a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. I liked what I saw from this rook in his freshman season, and I'm hoping the sophomore slump avoids him. He may be a bigtime contributor under Glenn's defense for many years to come.

Ifeatu Melifonwu (CB Syracuse, R3 101st Overall)

My Original Grade: A

My Current grade: B+

Iffy was primed to be thrust into early action but missing over half his rookie season cost him the chance to see what he could really do. Thankfully for Melifonwu, there was no surgery required for his injury. He spent a few months on the sideline learning as best he could. He had very limited chances to shine, obviously, but I still have high hopes for the future for this Lion. I think that with a healthy season, he could become one of the better corners on the Lions today.

Here's hoping anyway.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR USC, R4 112th Overall)

My Original Grade: C

My Current Grade: A+

Go ahead. Call me out on it. I was wrong. I was horribly... horribly wrong. For the first three months of the season, it looked like my prediction was spot on. St. Brown was on pace for around 500ish yards on the season prior to the Vikings game. But it was as if something flicked on for St. Brown during that game, because he was an entirely different receiver following that magnificent game.

After starting the season cold, St. Brown would somehow break the Lions rookie reception record, franchise reception yard record, amongst many others. He became the only rookie in NFL history to record 8+ receptions in six straight games.

It was an unreal change. St. Brown isn't blazing fast or tall, that much we know. However, something he's incredible at is something the Lions have truly lacked since prime Golden Tate; a destructive slot wideout. St. Brown is a player who excels at getting open, which is far easier said than done. People donned him a possible, "Steal of the draft" last May. I laughed at the notion. Now, I'm eating my own words. Guess I've never been happier to be wrong. St. Brown was the offensive bright-spot of this team by years end.

Mr. Holmes, I applaud.

Derrick Barnes (LB Purdue, R4 113th Overall)

My Original Grade: B+

My Current Grade: C+

A guy who should've seen the field a lot more than he did, the Lions didn't utilize Barnes all that much throughout the year. Maybe it was a redshirt season like Levi, but regardless, it was disappointing to see the lack of usage of the Purdue man. Maybe there's some strides made between this offseason and the start of the next season, but I'll need to see it to believe it. Barnes was far from good, but wasn't utilized all that much. Barnes is expected to make a push for a full time starting role, but it's undeniable that there were moments last season where he looked completely lost out on the turf. Maybe he turns the corner this year with a season of experience under his belt, but as for now, ranking this pick any higher than a C+ seems questionable.

Jermar Jefferson (RB Oregon State, R7 257th Overall)

My Original Grade: A-

My Current Grade: C+

A mix of all these players' situations. Jefferson was injured throughout a decent portion of the season. This opened the doors for Craig Reynolds and G.I. to make statements. Jefferson didn't see the field much, a lot like Derrick Barnes, but his potential flashes multiple times. It's unlikely G.I. returns in my opinion with Swift, Williams and Reynolds in the fold to pair with Jefferson. The OSU product likely remains just a backup, which for now, is perfectly fine.

Original Overall Grade: A-

Current Overall Grade: B+

It was slightly worse off than I hoped it would pan out to, but Holmes had a great overall draft. Of his seven picks, it appears he had three hits (R1 P. Sewell, R3 A. McNeill, R4 A. St. Brown.) Two have flashed potential but struggled with injuries (R3. I. Melifonwu, R7 J. Jefferson,) while the remaining two have hope for the future, (R2 L. Onwuzirke, R4 D. Barnes.)

However, if I was ranking these rookies based on performance and potential flashed this season, this is what my ranking would be:

1st Penei Sewell

2nd Amon-Ra St. Brown

3rd Alim McNeill

4th Ifeatu Melifonwu

5th Derrick Barnes

6th Levi Onwuzirke

7th Jermar Jefferson

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.