Thursday, May 3, 2018

2018 NFL Draft

Round 1 Pick 20 - C Frank Ragnow:

Ragnow links from before the draft:

Ragnow links from after the draft:


Round 2 Pick 43 - RB Kerryon Johnson:

Johnson links from before the draft:

Johnson links from after the draft:


Round 3 Pick 82 - DB Tracy Walker:

Walker links from before the draft:

Walker links from after the draft:


Round 4 Pick 114 - DT Da'Shawn Hand:

Hand links from before the draft:

 Hand links from after the draft:

Round 5 Pick 153 - OT Tyrell Crosby:

Crosby links from before the draft:

Crosby links from after the draft:

Round 7 Pick 237 - FB Nick Bawden:

Bawden links from before the draft:

Bawden links from after the draft:

Grades and Analysis:

Day 3:


Mock Draft Round Up:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Nick Bawden Links from after the Draft


Rogers: Four thoughts on the Lions’ NFL Draft haul (Return of the fullback - In that 2015 draft class, the Lions selected fullback Michael Burton in the fifth round. He did a good job in his role, including special-teams contributions, but the Lions, like many other teams around the NFL, opted to dump the position from the offensive scheme, cutting Burton last May.  That decision is on track to be reversed with the selection of Nick Bawden in the seventh round on Saturday. The lead blocker for a 2,000-yard back each of the past two seasons, he could be a under-the-radar piece to the puzzle as Detroit to seeks long-lost balance on offense.  Even though the Lions largely maintained continuity on the offensive coaching staff this offseason, the potential reincorporation of a fullback has Matt Patricia’s thumbprint on it.  Look to New England, where the fullback remains an integral part of the team’s scheme. In 2012, the team signed James Develin, a former undrafted free agent, and he’s been on the field more than 250 snaps four of the past five seasons, missing the fifth year due to injury.) (4-29-18):

Here is the Detroit Lions' 2018 draft class (4-28-18):

2018 NFL draft: Lions use final pick on San Diego State fullback Nick Bawden (4-28-18):

Lions bring back eliminated position with Bawden (4-28-18):

LIONS Lions draft FB Nick Bawden in 7th round (4-28-18):

Lions add 'physical presence': SDSU FB Nick Bawden (4-28-18):

Meet Lions’ Day 3 NFL Draft picks (4-28-18):

A CLOSER LOOK: Fullback Nick Bawden (4-28-18):

Lions draft fullback Nick Bawden (4-28-18):

Roster impact of the Lions drafting FB Nick Bawden (4-28-18):

Twitter reacts to Lions drafting fullback Nick Bawden (4-28-18):


Watch highlights of Lions Seventh Round Draft Pick, Nick Bawden.:

Conference call: Nick Bawden:

Analyzing Detroit's moves on the final day of the NFL draft (4-28-18):

Tyrell Crosby Links from after the Draft


Greg Gabriel: 7 NFL draft Day 3 steals (Tyrell Crosby – OT – Oregon – Detroit – Fifth Round:  Crosby was an All Pac-12 performer at Oregon and a multi-year starter. He had experience as a starter at both right and left tackle. His tape was excellent, but his Senior Bowl week was a little disappointing. Still, he lasted until the fifth round, where the Detroit Lions selected him. I felt that, at worst, Crosby was a second-round talent. That said, he had a foot injury that caused him to miss most of 2016. The after effects of that injury might be the reason he lasted so late in the draft.) (5-1-18):

Greg Cosell analyzes Lions' 2018 draft picks (Tyrell Crosby: “Showed the core and lower body strength to generate power through his hips as a drive and angle blocker. Ran his feet on contact showing the needed sustaining and finishing movement. Played low with excellent leverage and balance-body control as a run blocker. Utilized at times as an inside puller in the gap scheme run game. Efficient with compact movement working to the second level in the run game. “Much more of a power-strength pass protector than an athletic-movement pass protector. Very strong hands to control pass rushers when he engaged early in the down. Lacks top level quickness and lateral movement as a pass protector but very efficient staying square and using his hands rarely giving up the edge. “Played with physicality and competitive toughness showing a nasty edge at times. Overall an outstanding run blocker with the strength to move the defensive line. “Very desirable combination of size and power. His size and build are likely better suited to play inside at guard at the next level. His competitiveness and physical approach combined with his drive and angle blocking ability also project better inside. “There will be teams depending on run game concepts and pass game design that will project Crosby at tackle and my sense is he could be effective outside given his size-length and power, but I believe he has the physical and competitive traits to be an All-Pro OG in the NFL.”) (4-30-18):

2018 NFL draft recap: The best and riskiest Lions picks, and what's left to do (Biggest sleeper: The Lions didn't head into Day 3 expecting to draft another offensive lineman. But they didn't expect Tyrell Crosby to last more than five picks that day either. He didn't allow a sack last year. He was named the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12. And Quinn was shocked to see him still there when Detroit was back on the clock in the fifth round.  It seems Crosby's concussion history contributed to his fall, but if he's healthy -- and he insists he is -- the Lions got a lot of value here. Remember how the offense fell apart because of the injuries up front last year? In Crosby, they add a reliable pass protector with experience at both left and right tackle, and some believe could play inside as well. You just don't usually see this kind of resume in a fifth-round pick, and as long as he isn't plagued by more concussion problems, this could prove to be the underrated move of the draft.) (4-29-18):

Top 10 steals of the 2018 NFL draft (Tyrell Crosby:  There weren’t many prospects in this draft who are ready to be a starting left tackle almost immediately in the NFL, but Crosby was one of them. That made it a huge shock when he lasted until midway through Day 3, where the Lions wisely snatched him up. He was announced as a guard, which means the Lions will likely try him there first (it’s a bigger need for them at the moment), but Crosby’s versatility only adds to his value, which should have had him off the board much earlier.) (4-29-18):

NFL Draft: A Round 5 to Remember (The Lions halted Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby's fall at pick No. 153. It's unclear why a first-round talent plummeted but it's easy to see how he fits in Detroit's drafting of power players to help a one-dimensional offense develop an edge. Crosby was a second-rounder in Gabriel's estimation and could fight for early playing time inside or be the eventual heir to T.J. Lang.) (4-28-17):

2018 NFL draft: Biggest steals and reaches from Day 3 (Steal - Crosby:  No matter if you play him inside or on the edge, Crosby has the potential to be a high-end starter at multiple positions on the offensive line. Crosby was considered by many analysts to be a top-100 selection and come into a locker room to compete for starting reps.  Instead, Crosby fell to the middle of Day 3 and landed in an excellent position for the long-term future of the Detroit Lions. Long arms with great lower body strength, Crosby will begin his career as a swing tackle with the opportunity to compete for a starting role sooner rather than later.) (4-28-18):

Roster impact of the Lions drafting OL Tyrell Crosby (4-28-18):

Twitter reacts to Lions selecting OL Tyrell Crosby in fifth round (4-28-18):

Lions draft OT Tyrell Crosby in 5th round (4-28-18):

Some believe Lions landed one of the steals of the NFL draft in fifth round (4-28-18):

Lions fifth-rounder Tyrell Crosby ducks questions about concussion history (4-28-18):

2018 NFL Draft: Lions draft Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby in fifth round (4-28-18):

Here is the Detroit Lions' 2018 draft class (4-28-18):

Lions end OT Crosby's frustration in 5th round (4-28-18):

Lions draft Tyrell Crosby: 'Bad-bodied assassin' (4-28-18):

Lions take Oregon OT Crosby in fifth round (4-28-18):

New Lions OT Tyrell Crosby: No concussion worries (4-28-18):

Meet Lions’ Day 3 NFL Draft picks (4-28-18):

A CLOSER LOOK: Tackle Tyrell Crosby (4-28-18):

Lions draft tackle Tyrell Crosby (4-28-18):

TWENTYMAN: 10 prospects who could interest Lions on Day 3 (Tyrell Crosby, T, Oregon:  Some analysts had Crosby as a second-round pick. He’s a big-bodied prospect with a good anchor and a mean streak in the run game. Some team will covet his size, strength and length in Day 3. The Lions could be on the lookout for a young swing tackle.) (4-28-18):


Daniel Jeremiah's player comparison for Tyrell Crosby : Michael Oher:

Analyzing Detroit's moves on the final day of the NFL draft (4-28-18):

Tyrell Crosby's introductory conference call after being selected by the Lions in the fifth round of the 2018 draft:

Tyrell Crosby highlights:

Tyrell Crosby's full Combine workout:

Da'Shawn Hand Links from after the Draft


How the Lions' Da'Shawn Hand project was two years in the making (5-1-18):

Biggest post-draft questions for all 32 teams (Detroit Lions - How are the Lions going to rush opposing quarterbacks?  The Lions took the approach of fixing their run game this draft, with three of their first five picks focused on the offensive line or running back. Meanwhile, Detroit didn't address the defensive line until the fourth round with former No. 1 high school prospect Da'Shawn Hand from Alabama. Hand could be a nice piece, but his college production doesn't indicate he'll be the difference-making type of player Detroit needs to pressure quarterbacks. This puts more pressure on Ezekiel Ansah to stay healthy and Kerry Hyder to return to his pre-Achilles-injury form. -- Michael Rothstein) (4-29-18):

Greg Cosell analyzes Lions' 2018 draft picks (Da'Shawn Hand: “Looks the part with his length, long arms and solid muscular build of a multi-dimensional defensive lineman, who can be effective in both 4-3 and 3-4 front alignments. Showed the hand strength to control and displace offensive linemen and make tackles in the run game. “Did not consistently play to his athleticism and at times did not look like he was playing with the demanded urgency. “Hand's tape showed a higher-level athlete with the kind of movement you don't normally see from a 297-pound defensive lineman – he ran a 4.85 40-yard dash at the Combine at 297 pounds. Hand has the traits to develop into a strong pass rusher both from the defensive end position and inside at defensive tackle, but he needs much coaching and experience to get there. "At this point Hand is the classic traits prospect, but he didn't play as many snaps or have the kind of production that those traits should have led to. There's much to work with, but coaching will be critical as will be Hand's approach as a professional.”) (4-30-18):

Here is the Detroit Lions' 2018 draft class (4-28-18):

2018 NFL draft: Lions add Alabama DE Da'Shawn Hand via another trade with Patriots (4-28-18):

Lions like versatility of DE Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

Lions draft Da'Shawn Hand: Five things to know (4-28-18):

Alabama’s Da'Shawn Hand says he’ll bring ‘win’ attitude to Lions (4-28-18):

Meet Lions’ Day 3 NFL Draft picks (4-28-18):

A CLOSER LOOK: Defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

Lions trade up, draft defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

Roster impact of the Lions drafting DL Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

Experts react to Lions trading up for Alabama DE Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

Instant analysis of the Lions drafting DL Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

Lions trade up with Patriots, draft DL Da'Shawn Hand (4-28-18):

TWENTYMAN: 10 prospects who could interest Lions on Day 3 (Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama:  Hand started nine of the 11 games he played in 2017, missing time with a minor knee injury. He’s a versatile defender who can bump inside on passing downs. He had 27 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three sacks this past season.) (4-28-18):


Conference call: Da'Shawn Hand:

Da'Shawn Hand's full Combine workout:

Breaking down Da'Shawn Hand's college highlights:

Analyzing Detroit's moves on the final day of the NFL draft (4-28-18):

Tracy Walker Links from after the Draft


Think you were surprised by the Tracy Walker pick? Imagine being Tracy Walker (5-1-18):

NFC NORTH: 2018 NFL Draft breakdown (Good under-the-radar pick: A lot of Lions fans might not have known who Tracy Walker was before Friday night, but they could realize what he can bring to the table sooner rather than later. Walker gives a defense a lot of position versatility with his ability to line up in different spots in sub-packages. He could see some early work in the slot or covering tight ends.) (5-1-18):

Greg Cosell analyzes Lions' 2018 draft picks (Tracy Walker: “He’s sort of a Matt Patricia kind of player in his ability to line up in different spots. That is so important for how (Bill) Belichick and obviously Patricia see the game defensively. I think that’s one reason he was such an attractive player for the Lions. "Walker looks the part of an NFL safety with a long sinewy build and long arms – Combine testing numbers in the athletic explosion categories were excellent. He played downhill with aggression in the run game and showed the balance and body control to square up and make tackles. Good feel for run fits both as a box safety and as a downhill alley defender. Overall there was a physical presence to his game. “Significant snaps over the slot and his matchup versus Texas A&M's Christian Kirk presents possibilities for Walker as a slot corner in sub-packages. Played some snaps at outside corner versus Ole Miss. “What consistently stood out was there was a physical toughness and competitiveness to Walker's game and he played with high energy and activity on every snap. Walker gives a defense a lot of position versatility with his ability to line up in different spots in sub-packages and be effective: 2 shell, single high, 1 robber, slot corner in both man and zone, dime LB (sack versus South Alabama), snaps at outside corner versus Ole Miss. “When I saw that pick I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a really interesting pick for the Lions given that Patricia’s there.’”) (4-30-18):

2018 NFL draft recap: The best and riskiest Lions picks, and what's left to do (Biggest surprise: Anybody ever heard of Tracy Walker before Friday night? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Listen, it's common for teams to take players that are unknowns. But it usually happens on Day 3, where Walker was universally expected to go. I can't remember it ever happening in the third round in my five-plus years covering the Lions. Until Friday, anyway, when Detroit used the 82nd overall pick on the little-known safety out of Louisiana-Lafayette.  A quick scan of notable mock drafts and projections shows nobody -- quite literally, nobody -- expected Walker to go earlier than the fifth round. Yet the Lions took him a full two rounds earlier, and did so before addressing the front seven everyone anticipated to be a priority. With a long wait before Detroit was due back on the clock in the fifth, this was just exceptionally surprising.  But you could tell from the exuberant celebration that broke out in the Lions' war room -- there were literal fist pumps and high-fives going around after they got Walker -- that they think they got a major steal here. "We were excited about the pick because there were a few teams in front of us that we were a little nervous about," Quinn said. "Not to name any names, but we do all our research of what teams, who visited with what teams, and there were two teams I think the 10 or 12 picks above us that had visited with him on a 30-visit.") (4-29-18):

Here is the Detroit Lions' 2018 draft class (4-28-18):

Why Tracy Walker will be worth the 82nd pick (4-27-18):

'Who's Tracy Walker?' OnePride Twitter responds to Lions' 3rd-round pick (4-27-18):

Lions take DB Tracy Walker in 3rd round of 2018 NFL Draft (4-27-18):

Who? Lions' pick of Tracy Walker has everyone heading to Google (4-27-18):

2018 NFL Draft: Lions take Louisiana-Lafayette DB Tracy Walker in third round (4-27-18):

Lions DB Walker thought he would go Round 5 (4-27-18):

Meet Lions' Day 2 picks Kerryon Johnson and Tracy Walker (4-27-18):

LIONS Lions add Louisiana-Lafayette safety Tracy Walker in third round (4-27-18):

Pat Caputo - Bob Quinn, Lions seem to think a lot more of 3rd round pick than anybody else (4-27-18):



Tori Petry, Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara recap the Lions' second day in the 2018 NFL Draft.:

Tracy Walker Highlights:

Bob Quinn NFL Draft Day 2 press conference:


Breaking down the Lions' moves on Day 2 of the NFL draft (4-27-18):

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Overall Grades and Anslysis


NFL (B+:  Hey, did anybody know the Lions haven't had a 100-yard rusher since Thanksgiving day 2013?? [Ducks four-ton haymaker from Detroit's Joe Louis fist] Yeah, every single Lions supporter is sick and tired of this go-to statistical burn. Not because it's irrelevant -- Detroit's ground game has ranked 32nd, 30th and 32nd over the past three seasons -- but because it's the exact kind of humiliating, interminable ineptitude that routinely causes proud Detroiters to shake their heads and utter those three tortured words: Same old Lions. Well, Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia say enough is enough! Detroit devoted four of its six picks to solving this problem once and for all, starting with Ragnow, Pro Football Focus' top-rated college center in each of the past two years. He immediately slots into the starting lineup at either center or guard, depending on where the Lions want to put Graham Glasgow. (The guess here is that Ragnow mans the pivot.) In Round 2, the Lions added Johnson, a powerful, jump-cutting back with a Le'Veon Bell-like patience that rewards good blocking. On Day 3, Detroit scooped up two more punishing run blockers, including a fullback. (Yes, a fullback! That 100-yard drought is squarely in the crosshairs.) So, what about replenishments for the 27th-ranked defense? Well, you can only fill so many needs in one draft. But yes, the limited haul there is what keeps Detroit out of "A" territory. Will Walker or Hand make a significant impact? Both offer intriguing size and tools. Oh, and one huge bonus for those Lions fans who back the Wolverines on Saturdays: Finally got your guy!):

Rotoworld Thor's Grades (B+:   In one sentence: Like what they did with their first two picks, and also the outstanding value on Hand and Crosby on Day 3.):

SI (Detroit Lions:  Detroit’s ground game has ranked 26th or worst in yards per attempt each of the last four years—including ranking dead last in 2017—and GM Bob Quinn was determined to change that. Frank Ragnow, who boasts strength and aggression admired by many scouts, will start on Day 1, filling the hole created by Travis Swanson’s departure. Picking Ragnow and Kerryon Johnson reaffirms what e could surmise by the free-agent signing of LeGarrette Blount: the Lions want a bruising ground game. On the downside, the Lions didn’t find a pass-catching tight end to replace Eric Ebron—they simply didn’t have enough picks to address that need. The job now falls to ex-Seahawk Luke Willson, who is at least proficient going down the seams.  The rest of this draft served to start remaking Detroit’s defense in new head coach Matt Patricia’s image. Tracy Walker brings depth at safety, which is something Matt Patricia used smartly in New England. Da’Shawn Hand, whom the Lions traded up to get in Round 4, is a five-technique style defensive end, meaning he wins with strength and mechanics. Patricia’s Patriots always employed this type of D-lineman as opposed to the glitzier (and more expensive) edge-benders. Grade: B):

CBS (Detroit Lions: B, The Lions need to run the ball better, and their first two picks show they know that all too well. They took interior lineman Frank Ragnow in the first round, and he will be a big part of that improvement up front. I love second-round running back Kerryon Johnson from Auburn. He will be their lead runner. Third-round safety Tracy Walker has good range, and fifth-round offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby could be a steal.):

NFL (Day 1 grade: A, Day 2 grade: C, Day 3 grade: B, Overall grade: B;  The skinny: Detroit got stronger in the middle by picking Ragnow, who could play guard for now, or move to center if needed. Either way, he'll move the line of scrimmage. Matthew Stafford feels better already. The Lions were so interested in Johnson that they gave up a fourth-round pick to move up eight spots. That's marginal value, though I expect Johnson will be a good back. Walker was picked two rounds earlier than expected, but he has the skills to become a starter in the league. Hand could end up a pretty good interior player, but he'll need to contribute right away to be worth giving up a 2019 third-rounder. Great value in Crosby, who should be a starter at guard or tackle very soon because of his strength. He has quick enough feet to handle pass protection duties.):

Mel Kiper grades Lions 2018 NFL Draft class a B-:

Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez:

Draft Scout Rob Rang (The NFC North was long considered the NFL's so-called black and blue division, with physicality and toughness as primary characteristics. The Lions appear dedicated to regaining that image, adding a plug-and-play, lunch-stealing interior lineman in Arkansas' Frank Ragnow in the first round and the top blocker in the PAC-12 last year in tackle Tyrell Crosby (who fell due to medical red flags) in the fifth. Running back Kerryon Johnson is a classic slasher who runs hungry, also adding a physical element to a rushing attack that has been desperately in search of a bell-cow for years. He will be aided by the draft's best lead blocker in Nick Bawden, the club's seventh-round pick. Safety Tracy Walker and powerful defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand, both middle-round picks, look the part of NFL players but never proved to be the dominant prospects at their respective levels that their imposing frames suggest. Grade: C-plus):

USA Today (C+:  Second rounder Kerryon Johnson will get the headlines, assuming he can break with recent tradition and hold up better than other highly drafted Lions tailbacks. Otherwise, new coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn were busy fortifying their lines, starting with first-round C Frank Ragnow.):

PFW (Detroit Lions — C+/C:  We believe 20 and 43 is just too high for Frank Ragnow and Kerryon Johnson, and had both James Daniels (39) and Billy Price (21) ranked ahead of Ragnow. But we love Tyrell Crosby, think he may actually be the best left tackle in this draft and can’t believe he was still there at 153. Da’Shawn Hand was a classic and chronic underachiever at Bama, but that’s in large part because he has Pro Bowl-level talent and natural gifts. He’s a great gamble at 114; now can the Lions get it out of him?):

Draftwire (DETROIT LIONS | C:  Frank Ragnow in the first may seem like a reach to some, but it really wasn’t. He would have gone quickly, maybe with the very next pick to the Bengals. Kerryon Johnson is solid, but there were better options at running back at that slot. Da’Shawn Hand is a solid player who fits this scheme, but trading a third-rounder in next year’s draft to get him was too steep. Tracy Walker is promising, but was taken a round or two early. Tyrell Crosby is my favorite pick in this group, with his versatility and upside. Where’s the edge rusher, or the off-ball linebacker? Still plenty of work to be done with this roster.):

Walterfootball (C:  Goals Entering the 2018 NFL Draft: Despite the hiring of former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as head coach, the Lions absolutely have to bolster their defense. Help is needed at every level, especially on the defensive line, where there are multiple holes that must be plugged.  2018 NFL Draft Accomplishments: While their mentor spent lots of energy trading down in this class, Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn moved up on a couple of occasions. They did so in the second round, getting running back Kerryon Johnson at No. 43. They then gave New England a 2019 third-round pick to get Da'Shawn Hand in the fourth frame. Hand should help the defensive front, but using multiple resources to get him, including a second-day choice in next year's superior class, seems like a mistake. Speaking of errors, the Lions made a horrendous pick in the third round, reaching greatly for safety Tracy Walker, who may have been available in the fifth frame. This selection alone will weigh down Detroit's overall grade. There were plenty of safeties available - teams don't value that position very highly right now, which is why they all fell - so there was no reason to make a desperation grab for a mid-round prospect. The Lions did some nice things in this draft - they bolstered their offensive line with center Frank Ragnow, and they found a great bargain in tackle Tyrell Crosby in the fifth round - but their unnecessary trades and reaches, as well as their reluctance to address the defensive front beyond Hand, will ensure that they won't have a positive overall grade.):

SN (C-: Bob Quinn vowed to fixed the running game, and Ragnow's interior blocking will help. Trading up for Johnson, however, was questionable for the backfield, and Walker was a reach for the secondary. The Lions ignoring linebacker and tight end was not good.)

Rotoworld Silva (Overview: GM Bob Quinn’s continued pass-rush avoidance is confusing. Ragnow addressed a need, but trading up for an ordinary running back in Johnson unnecessarily cost Detroit a top-120 pick. An upright runner who didn’t dominate in college, Johnson reminds of a less-explosive version of Darren McFadden stylistically. It was surprising to see Walker go in the third round after he managed third-team all-conference honors in the Sun Belt last year. Walker himself admitted after the draft he expected to go multiple rounds later. Moving up for college underachiever Hand cost Detroit its 2019 third-round pick in a trade with the Pats. Crosby is an intriguing project to develop at right tackle or guard. Bawden was the best blocking fullback in the nation the last two years. It doesn’t help that the Lions coughed up their sixth-round pick in last year’s trade for Greg Robinson, who is no longer on the team. Grade: D):

Shutdown Corner (Analysis: Center Frank Ragnow is a good player, but it still feels the Lions needed to get premium pass rush help early on. Running back Kerryon Johnson didn’t seem like a good value with the 11th pick of the second round, and they gave up a fourth-round pick to move up eight spots to take him. You have to wonder if the Derrius Guice rumors scared them off the better player there. Safety Tracy Walker seemed like an even bigger reach in the third round. Alabama defensive lineman Da’shawn Hand and Oregon offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby were fine value picks, though Crosby’s reported concussion issues are an obvious concern. It’s an underwhelming class.  Grade: D):


Draft Analyst (Detroit Lions: Though they drafted no superstars, the Lions came away with a lot of talent that will produce at the next level. Frank Ragnow was steadily moving up draft boards and should quickly break into the starting lineup. Tyrell Crosby could be a bargain if his takes his game to the next level.Da'Shawn Hand will be a steal for the Lions.):

Schefter: Lions have robbed other NFL teams with every pick so far:

Arthur Arkush's 5 least favorite NFL draft classes (Bob Quinn cares not for style but substance, and doubling up at OL and RB sends a clear message that this offense is eschewing finesse for a more power-based approach. Tyrell Crosby might turn out to be one of the draft's bigger steals, but they had to trade up Johnson, albeit an underrated back who'll carry the mail often with an edge, and Hand is a talented wildcard. Pass rush remains a big concern, and where does the lesser-known Walker fit in an already talented secondary? Quinn has invested a lot in the offensive line without the desired returns; even as a fast riser, Ragnow is a bit rich there for my liking.):

PFF (Day 1: The Lions selected one of the players that PFF has been championing as a potential dominant force throughout the pre-draft process in Arkansas C Frank Ragnow. With a new coaching staff in the building, the Lions are making a concerted effort to get better at the line of scrimmage, and become a more powerful team, and Ragnow achieves that. He was a dominant run-blocker and did not allow a sack in pass protection throughout his entire college career. He was one of a few players that have distanced themselves as the best player we have seen at their respective positions since we have been grading college football, and those players typically translate very well to the next level. Ragnow should plug in to the middle of that offensive line and anchor it immediately, but he has shown the ability to play guard as well, starting at right guard against Alabama in 2017 and still grading very well.  Day 2: The Lions shook up the draft board at the running back position by taking Kerryon Johnson out of Auburn over a couple of more celebrated prospects. Johnson only really has one excellent season of performance, with an overall grade of 87.8 in 2017, and he has an interesting style of running the ball, gliding to the hole and accelerating through it like Arian Foster. They also added Tracy Walker from Louisiana to the secondary. Walker is a safety who has covered the slot and has been a better run defender than he has been in coverage. Day 3: Tyrell Crosby’s slide was halted by the Lions who bring in a monstrous offensive lineman. At Oregon, he allowed only seven total pressures and no sacks in 2017 at left tackle, but has the size and power to move inside to guard and dominate. Completing their power-focus, they grabbed one of the few fullbacks in the draft with Nick Bawden in the seventh round. Bawden played the second-most snaps of any fullback in 2017 with 588, none of which were him carrying the ball.  Overall grade: Below average):

2018 NFL Draft, Rules Of Thumb (Thumbs Twiddling - To the Detroit Lions. I love adding two offensive linemen, including landing my No. 2 tackle Tyrell Crosby in the fifth round. Frank Ragnow makes the Lions interior OL one of the best in football if everyone is healthy, and Crosby can play guard or tackle and gives the unit real depth for the first time I can remember. Kerryon Johnson is a great fit at running back, and Tracy Walker could eventually take over for Glover Quin at safety. But the thumbs are twiddling because the No. 1 need on the team is pass rush, and GM Bob Quinn ignored it almost completely. Trading next year’s third rounder for an enigmatic complementary DE in DaShawn Hand is a poor choice, and a fullback for the final pick seems wasteful. Even so, the Lions landed five players in my top 90 overall talents (Hand included) and have devoted major resources to fixing the league’s worst rushing offense.):

NFC NORTH: 2018 NFL Draft breakdown (Twentyman's take: It’s pretty clear from this draft that Quinn and Patricia value toughness and position versatility. Ragnow, Walker, Hand and even Crosby can play multiple positions. They all have a physical element to their games as well. I'd add Johnson to that list in terms of toughness. The Lions got tougher and more physical via this draft.) (5-1-18):

Ranking every team's 2018 NFL draft class - The Broncos nail it while the Patriots stumble (22. Detroit Lions:  The Lions reached for both Ragnow and Johnson, but Hand and Crosby were value picks who could make this ranking look foolish in a couple of years. We’ve ranked Detroit 23rd but would not be surprised if this is a top-15 class when all is said and done.):

Day 3 Grades and Analysis

Da'Shawn Hand:


Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez (Birkett - Hand: The Lions gave up a third-round pick next year to get some help for the defensive line now. That’s the standard price to pay, and with an extra sixth-rounder already in pocket it’s a worthwhile gamble for a Lions team that needed to add some beef up front. Hand said at the Senior Bowl that he’d play primarily three-technique if he ended up with the Lions. He’s a solid player who fits the scheme, though far from a sure thing. B):

Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez (Monarrez - Hand: The Lions got their fourth-round pick back from the Patriots by trading a 2019 third-rounder in order to draft Hand, who could be a versatile player and provide much-needed help on the defensive line. Hand only started one season and didn’t have a ton of production, but he’s reuniting with his old ’Bama coach, Bo Davis, who could get the most out of him. B-minus):

CBS (114. Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama - Grade: C. - Two-gapper. Strong. Very limited as a pass rusher.):

Walterfootball (Detroit Lions: Da'Shawn Hand, DE/DT, Alabama C Grade:  The Lions just gave up a third-round pick to New England for this selection. Da'Shawn Hand better be worth it. He's a great fit for Detroit's new defense under Matt Patricia, but I don't think I would've dealt a 2019 third-rounder for him. There are some decent five-techniques still available, so this almost seemed like a panic move after the Lions failed to address their defensive line earlier.):


SI (Scouting Report: 2017 was supposed to be a breakout year for the one-time top recruit in the nation, but Hand didn’t deliver in his only season as a full-time starter at Alabama. It might have been due to a nagging knee injury he played through for most of the season, but he was too often stale-mated by inferior opponents. The talent is undeniable though, as Hand is a quick and fluid mover at nearly 300 pounds, capable of moving laterally to cover gaps, or exploding upfield. He could be molded into a 5-technique or 3-technique, and there will be plenty of coaching staffs willing to take on the challenge of unleashing his potential.):

NFL (Matt Patricia wants to instill more toughness to a defense that struggled to control the line of scrimmage last season. He wants to be multiple up front and Hand provides the versatility to fit that need. --Mark Dulgerian):

Detroit News (14 (114). Detroit (from Green Bay through Cleveland and New England): Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama - The Lions traded up to snag a talented pass-rusher in Hand. The future of DE Ziggy Ansah is unclear after this year and Hand could help fill the void if Ansah leaves. Hand was a five-star recruit that never really became elite in the SEC. He played well in the Senior Bowl and has all the physical tools to become a contributor.):


Tyrell Crosby:


CBS (153. Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon,
Grade: A, Awesome value here. Nasty mauler. Plus athlete. Needs to get stronger. Tremendous depth. Can play guard.):

Walterfootball (Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon,
 A Grade: The Lions had major problems whenever one of their tackles went down with an injury, so they had to find a solid reserve. Tyrell Crosby could end up being more than solid. He was a second-day prospect who would've gone much earlier if it weren't for some concussion concerns. Those might re-surface, but the fifth round is a nice time to take a chance.):

Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez (Birkett - Crosby: The interior of the offensive line wasn’t the only need the Lions had up front entering the draft. They didn’t have a viable backup tackle last season, and that came back to bite them when Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner went down with injuries. Crosby should back up both tackle spots this fall and has some flexibility to play inside at guard if needed. He missed most of the 2016 season with a foot injury, but started every game last season and at 6-feet-5 has great length with 35 ¼-inch arms. A-minus):

Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez (Monarrez - Crosby: He’s the perfect pick in the fifth round to add some badly needed depth at either tackle spot. He’s not an elite athlete, but he somehow found a way to not allow a single sack his senior year. He never played guard, so he lacks some flexibility, and he’s reportedly had some concussion issues. B):


SI (Scouting Report: A mauling run blocker, Crosby also got the job done pass-protecting as a left tackle at Oregon, even if it didn’t always look beautiful. He’s a likely starter—and potentially a good one—for a team looking to set the tone with a physical run game.):

NFL (This is a nice value pick for the Lions, taking one of the better run blocking tackles in the draft. There's a learning curve coming from Oregon's passing scheme, but the traits are there to develop into a starter down the line. --Mark Dulgerian):

Detroit News (16 (153). Detroit: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon - Crosby was a 2017 1st Team All-Pac-12 performer at Oregon and started 13 games last year. He has the requisite size for right tackle at 6-foot-5 and 309 pounds, but if that doesn't work out he may be moved to guard. He missed some time during his college years due to a broken left foot. He still needs to learn some technique, but he's got great length and run-blocks well. His ceiling is limited due to consistency issues.):


Nick Bawden:


Walterfootball (Detroit Lions: Nick Bawden, FB, San Diego State A Grade:  A smart player and a stellar blocker, Nick Bawden will help inject some life into Detroit's dead running game. Kerryon Johnson has to be thrilled about this pick, and I happen to think that it deserves an "A" grade.):

Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez (Birkett - Bawden: It wasn’t even 12 months ago that the Lions got rid of Michael Burton and eliminated the fullback from their offense. Now, apparently, they’ve had a change of heart. Bawden was considered one of the two or three best fullbacks in the draft. He’s got decent enough hands to catch the ball out of the backfield and has blocked for 2,000-yard rushers each of the last two seasons, but has a bit of an injury history. The Lions probably wouldn’t have been able to sign him as priority free agent given the composition of their backfield, so I have no problem taking him with their final pick. B):

Draft grades: B from Birkett, C+ from Monarrez (Monarrez - Bawden: He converted from quarterback after his freshman season and was the lead blocker for Donnel Pumphrey, the country’s top rusher in 2016, and Rashaad Penny in 2017. Could eventually fit in the mold of Patriots Pro Bowl fullback James Develin. B):

CBS (237. Nick Bawden, FB, San Diego State,
Grade: C-, Former quarterback who converted to fullback. Very willing to find someone to hit but isn't very accurate at the second level. When he finds his target, he delivers a major pop.):


SI (Scouting Report: A converted quarterback (he made two starts at QB as a freshman), Bawden bulked up and became one of the nation’s best fullbacks. He’s a classic lead blocker—physical but also a fluid-enough player to land blocks on the move. He’s limited as a receiver, but he has reliable enough hands when it’s dumped off to him. He’s the best option in this draft class for any team looking for a true lead blocker.):

NFL (You have to love the approach Detroit is taking to improving an abysmal run game. Matt Patricia understands the value of establishing physicality in the run game and closing out games. Bawden is the best blocking fullback in this class. --Mark Dulgerian):

Detroit News (19 (237). Detroit: Nick Bawden, FB, San Diego St. - Fullbacks are a dying breed in the NFL, and Bawden started his career at San Diego St. as a quarterback before becoming the lead blocker for the nation's top runner in 2016 (Donnel Pumphrey) and 2017 (Rashaad Penny). He can catch out of the backfield, make adjustments and engages potential tacklers well. The Lions are maybe showing a willingness to get creative on offense with this pick.):


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