It’s a new age for Lions fans. They have a new coaching staff who was hand selected by their young GM. Long gone are the days of Matt Millen and 0-16. Now Detroit is looking to move from middle of the road to legitimate contenders. However, if they are going to take that next step then they really needed a great draft to shape the roster to Matt Patricia’s plan. Unfortunately for Lions fans, great is not the word I would used to describe it. Here is my Detroit Lions 2018 NFL draft review.
Detroit Lions 2018 NFL Draft Review
1st Round – Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
After losing Travis Swanson in the offseason, the Lions had a big hole on the interior of their offensive line. They had to find a way to protect star quarterback Matthew Stafford and develop some kind of rushing attack. Enter Ragnow. He didn’t allow a single sack over his college career and he’s an even better run blocker than he is a pass blocker. His length, athleticism and experience will make him an instant starter and should make their offensive line pretty good.
2nd Round – Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
The Lions were afraid of losing out on their guy and moved up in the 2nd round to get him. Johnson joins a crowded back field, but projects as the starter because he is very well rounded. He’s a good pass blocker and can get the tough between the tackles yards on early downs. Although he wasn’t one of my top three running backs available at this time, he will get every opportunity to succeed in Detroit and may finally give the Lions a 100 yard rusher.
3rd Round – Tracy Walker, S, Louisiana Lafayette
This pick was a big surprise. While Walker, the relative unknown, does have some physical tools to work with I did not expect him to go this early. He’s more of a coverage guy than a imposing box defender, but frankly I don’t think he’s great anywhere.
4th Round – Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama
With a new coaching staff coming in it’s not totally clear what the plan is on defense, but it will most likely include a good deal of 3-4 looks. If that’s the case then Hand could see starting minutes at defensive end. While not much of a pass rusher himself, he’s a strong run defender and a very good athlete. This could be one of those under the radar picks that turns into a solid starter and role player.
5th Round – Tyrell Crosby, OL, Oregon
This was one of my favorite value picks of the entire draft. Crosby is a very good run blocker who can play tackle or guard. He is a prefect fit for a team that is looking to add toughness and physicality to their offensive line. I believe he will push for a starting job this season and even if he doesn’t earn a starting spot this year he’ll be great depth and likely a starter down the line.
7th Round – Nick Bawden, FB, SDSU
Another pick to help improve the rushing attack and another tough, physical guy. He’s a classic smash mouth blocker who will help pave the way in the running game as he did for a very successful San Diego State Rush offense the last few years. As an added bonus he’s also got decent hands to make a defense pay in play action.
Overall grade: C+
Biggest Reach: Tracy Walker
Best Pick: Tyrell Crosby