No one in the organization is saying it out loud, but it is quite clear that the rebuilding process is on in the Motor City. It was pre-MILLEN days when the team last had as many as 10 Picks in a Draft. In fact, part of their roster decline can clearly be traced to the MAYHEW regime when the team often got by with 5 -6 Picks per year. The lack of a steady flow of new pro level talent each year has helped to contribute to a decline of play on the field. The team has also seemed to be a bit impatient in developing their young players recently. So let’s see how much a large Draft Class might help the team.
ROUND 1 TAYLOR DECKER/OT/OHIO STATE 6’7/320 5.21/40 10″H/33 3/4″A
This was a bit of a “need” pick, but I certainly would not call it a big reach. DECKER, a Buckeye Co-Captain is a seasoned OT, who may get a shot at the LT slot. He and RILEY REIFF could make an excellent tandem. He is functionally strong, long armed and has a mean streak. He showed explosive hand use at OSU. By the nature of his size he can tend to play a bit too upright, but his footwork is surprisingly good given his length and bulk. He should be Day 1 ready, and that’s important to MATTHEW STAFFORD. Expect more of a quick, short passing game as the team adapts to the loss of Megatron, and that should DECKER adjust more quickly. Good combination of a need pick and a quality player. Not much risk here at all.
Pick # 16 GBN Rank: 23 Ourlads Rank: 16 PP Rank: 29
ROUND 2 A’SHAWN ROBINSON/OT/ALABAMA 6’4/312 5.16/40 10 1/2″H/34 1/2″A
Just a few years ago the team looked set at DT for the remainder of this decade with SUH & FAIRLEY. Now both those guys are gone and it’s back to the drawing board. I felt ROBINSON would be a Top 12 Pick. So my Board says this is a great value pick. ROBINSON is already very good and at times dominates. He should only get better in the next few years. Add to his talent the fact that he’ll play with and learn from seasoned vet HALOTI NGATA. Can tie up multiple blockers without being moved off his spot. I see Pro Bowls in his future. Great pick in Round 2.
Pick # 46 GBN Rank: 19 Ourlads Rank: 12 PP Rank: 10
ROUND 3 GRAHAM GLASGOW/OC/MICHIGAN 6’6/306 5.14/40 10″H/33 5/8″A
GRAHAM will get a shot to replace DOMINIC RAIOLA @ OC, where things were a bit unsettled last year. High FBI and a very intense player. He can literally maul people with his size and strength. He’s a very good athlete for the OC position. He excels with his hand use. He showed very well at both the Shrine and Senior Bowl venues in January. My expectation would be that he also has a chance to start as a Rookie.
Pick # 95 GBN Rank: 240 Ourlads Rank: 64 PP Rank: 117
ROUND 4 MILES KILLEBREW/SS/SOUTHERN UTAH 6’2/217 4.59/40 9 1/4″H/31 3/8″A
The upside on this guy is huge, but the team will have to be patient. He’s a tackling machine ala BUCANNON in Arizona, but looks to have the tools to refine his coverage work and be an effective all-around S in time. The LIONS have been shuffling effective, but limited guys at the S slots for some time now. If KILLEBREW can step up his cover skills he will solve another position issue for the team. IMO, a very high value pick fro Round 4. I had him ranked as a Top 100 prospect.
Pick # 111 GBN Rank: 105 Ourlads Rank: 150 PP Rank: 67
ROUND 5 JOE DAHL/OG/WASHINGTON STATE 6’4/304 5.18/40 9 1/8″H/33 1/8″A
An All-Conference OT who should slide inside to OG at the next level. This could turn out to be the Trifecta when combined with DECKER & GLASGOW. I see all 3 of these picks being starters by the 2017 season, if not immediately. DAHL is well versed in pass-pro and really stood out during Senior Bowl week. If he can’t win a starting job right away he should make a very solid, multiple position backup as a Rookie. I luv his grit and tenacity. He will battle his way to success in the NFL.
Pick # 151 GBN Rank: 98 Ourlads Rank: 94 PP Rank: 115
ROUND 5 ANTOINE WILLIAMS/OLB/FA SOUTHERN 6’3/240 4.65/40 10 1/8″H/33″A
The LIONS have been a bit shy on talent in their LB group for a while now. This smaller school guy could be positive medicine. He is an excellent athlete and has been productive, topping off his senior season with 107 tackles. He’s stout enough to take on the run, and athletic enough to drop into coverage. He looked very impressive at the Shrine venue, especially in his Special Teams work. I smell a future starter here. I like this pick for their needs and scheme.
Pick # 169 GBN Rank: 221 Ourlads Rank: 196 PP Rank: 244
ROUND 6 JAKE RUDOCK/QB/IOWA 6’3/207 4.85/40 9 3/4″H/32 1/8″A
Now things get a bit funky IMO. The team does need a younger QB on the roster to groom as at the least a back-up. But I think RUDOCK could have been had as a free Agent. He flourished under HARBAUGH last year, but he has a slight frame, has been banged up and worst of all has an average arm, at best. He will have to really develop to even be a solid pro back-up. The team would have better served to grab a WR, or two, from this point on as CALVIN JOHNSON’s retirement leaves a huge hole in their receiving corps. Who you say? Well how about speedster KOLBY LISTENBEE, who the BILLS grabbed with Pick 192. Or CODY CORE, AARON BURBRIDGE, DANIEL BRAVERMAN. I am not excited by this selection.
Pick # 191 GBN Rank: 339 Ourlads Rank: 295 PP Rank: NR 300+
ROUND 6 ANTHONY ZETTEL/DL/PENN STATE 6’4/277 4.82/40 9 1/2″H/31 1/8″A
I am still not sure what position to list ZETTEL at, but his versatility, FBI and hustle earned him a Draft slot. My guess is he will be used on Special Teams extensively, and in multiple sub-packages in multiple roles. Even if he never earns a starting spot, he can still bring value in his versatility and hustle. One of the hardest working players in this draft. Also considered to have a very high FBI.
Pick # 202 GBN Rank: 228 Ourlads Rank: 143 PP Rank: 200
ROUND 6 JIMMY LANDES/LS/BAYLOR 6’1/240
LANDES was the consensus top LS in this Draft. Ad the LIONS currently employ a solid, but long in the tooth LS in DON MUHLBACH. LANDES can save the team some money in the short term, and if as good as advertised, lock up the roster slot for a decade. Another guy they might have been able to sign as an URFA, but you can’t count on everybody signing on with you.
Pick # 210 GBN Rank: NR Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 28
ROUND 7 DWAYNE WASHINGTON/RB/WASHINGTON 6’1/223
A couple of seasons ago this guy looked like as sure-fire pro prospect. But some off the field issues led him to leaving the program. Clearly the LIONS had a file on him and vetted (hopefully) the issues that raised questions about him. As I remember him as a RB he lacks speed and/or quickness and will need some major holes to run through if he is to gain yardage as a runner. But I also recall his being an excellent receiver out of the backfield in college. It’s a long shot but this late in the Draft many picks are just that.
Pick # 236 GBN Rank: 317 Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 300+ NR
Overall this was a good overall, especially in the top 100, and brings in talent to upgrade the roster. I would still like to hear the explanation of ignoring the WR slot, which they appear to also have done in the URFA market.