Gennaro Filice of NFL.com graded each rookie class, and Detroit's class did not measure up compared to the rest of the division.
In fact, Detroit earned the lowest grade among the four squads in the NFC North.
Green Bay earned a "B+" -- the highest grade in the division.
Minnesota earned a "B-," followed by the Bears with a "C+" grade.
Detroit was graded a "C" by Filice.
According to Filice,
"The Lions took a lot of heat -- especially in Detroit -- after spending a top-10 pick on a tight end for the second time in six years. But the Eric Ebron-tinged snideness started to fade when Hockenson created a buzz in training camp and the preseason. And then he went out and racked up 131 receiving yards in the season opener -- a record for a tight end in his first NFL game -- with four catches of 20-plus yards and a touchdown. Eric WHO?!
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. Hockenson totaled just 236 yards over the next 10 games before hitting injured reserve with an ankle injury in early December.
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Detroit's second pick initially raised even more eyebrows than the first, given that most football fans had never heard of Tavai and most draftniks had never imagined him going 43rd overall, but the linebacker enjoyed a solid first season with a game as versatile as his box score numbers: 58 tackles, two sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble.
Blough, the Lions' backup to the backup plan at quarterback, was clearly in above his head as a rookie starter. No surprise, given that he spent August as the fourth-string QB in Cleveland."