Grading the Draft - Detroit Lions

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Entering the draft, most pointed towards defensive end as a position the Lions would target in the first round. In the end, the Lions selected a player on the other side of the line of scrimmage and surprised many with their choice.

Round 1 (No. 20 overall): Frank Ragnow, OC, Arkansas

Round 2 (No. 43): Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn

Round 3 (No. 82): Tracy Walker, S, Louisiana-Lafayette

Round 4 (No. 114): Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama

Round 5 (No. 153): Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon

Round 7 (No. 237): Nick Bawden, FB, San Diego State

UDFA: Deontez Alexander, WR, Franklin College; Al-Rasheed Benton, LB, WVU; Amari Coleman, CB, Central Michigan; Antwuan Davis, CB, Texas; Josh Fatu, DT, USC; Mike Ford, CB, Southeast Missouri; DeAndre Goolsby, TE, Florida; Chris Jones, CB, Nebraska; Brett Kendrick, OT, Tennessee; Chad Meredith, LB, Southeast Missouri; John Montelus, OG, Virginia; Beau Nunn, OG, Appalachian State; Josh Okonye, CB, Purdue; Brandon Powell, WR, Florida; Teo Redding, WR, Bowling Green; Ryan Santoso, P, Minnesota; Jojo Wicker, DE, Arizona State

Frank Ragnow was surging up draft boards in the weeks before the event, and many predicted he would end up in the first round. They were correct. Ragnow has excellent size, smarts and strength at the point but I didn’t grade him as a top-20 player, nor am I sure why the Lions selected him. Graham Glasgow, the Lions’ third-round pick in 2016, has started the past two seasons at center and has a bright future. I don’t know that selecting Ragnow and moving Glasgow to guard makes the Lions a much better offensive line.

Kerryon Johnson fills a need at running back as was a solid choice in Round 2. He immediately upgrades the position for Detroit, and I fully expect Johnson to get opportunities next season.

Tracy Walker was a bit of a reach in Round 3. Walker is a talented athlete and has the youth the Lions need at safety, but he plays uninspired football. Walker does not show a nasty streak and really needs to polish his ball skills.

All three of the team’s last-day selections were good value and can help the Lions.

Da’Shawn Hand was ridiculously underrated, and though he’s listed as a defensive end, I would expect him to be used in a rotational role at defensive tackle.

We never believed Tyrell Crosby graded with the first or second-tier offensive tackles in this draft like others did, but he was a bargain in Round 5. Injuries and inconsistency pushed him into the middle part of the last day, but Crosby is a solid developmental prospect who should be an inexpensive backup at both tackle spots.

Nick Bawden is a nasty blocker who also presents himself as a terrific pass catcher out of the backfield. Expect him to make the roster this fall.

Cornerback Mike Ford, defensive tackle Josh Fatu and corner Chris Jones are three UDFA signings likely headed for the practice squad.

Analysis: Ragnow will be a good player, but I don’t understand the pick for Detroit. Selecting Isaiah Wynn and keeping Glasgow at center may have been a better move. After that the Lions got value with their remaining picks, Walker notwithstanding. Grade: B-