Lions Have Not Had Success Drafting These Positions

Pro Football Focus conducted a study analyzing the draft success teams have had at several different positions

The Detroit Lions have consistently struggled to identify productive running backs, tight ends and linebackers in the NFL Draft.

According to Pro Football Focus, Detroit has had much better success drafting wide receivers and offensive linemen over the past 10 years.

Recall, in the past decade, Detroit has invested precious draft picks on Kyle Van Noy, Jarrad Davis, Jahlani Tavai and Ronnell Lewis. 

Only six NFL teams finished with a worse rating for selecting tight ends, although T.J. Hockenson can aid the Lions' ranking if he continues to succeed. 

Running back was another position that received a subpar ranking for receiving a poor return on investment in the past decade. Detroit, in fact, was sixth from the bottom at the position. 


"Hitting on Frank Ragnow, Taylor Decker and Larry Warford helps lift the Lions near the top. Only the Patriots and Cowboys have done a better job at drafting linemen. Detroit was also very good at wide receiver, dating back to 2011. This is heavily propped up by the success of 2017 third-round pick Kenny Golladay," Jeff Risdon of USA Today's Lions Wire explained. 

Heading into the 2021 draft, Detroit has been linked to multiple talented wideouts, including Alabama's Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith and Ja'Marr Chase out of LSU.

Those clamoring for Detroit to target a linebacker are hoping Penn State's Micah Parsons ends up being the selection. 

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, meanwhile, is the most intriguing option for Detroit. He possesses all the skills of the elite players that have played wide receiver over the years, but lines up at tight end. 

There is certainly a widespread amount of hype surrounding the ex-Gator. 

Given Detroit's recent history, it may be worth it to consider one of the wideouts or offensive linemen when it is the franchise's turn to hand in its selection. 

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