What Experts Think about Lions Draft Class

Analysts have been favorable to the Detroit Lions regarding their 2020 Draft class
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The 2020 NFL Draft is now in the rear-view mirror. In total, the Detroit Lions made nine draft selections over the past three days. 

Here is a collection of NFL experts and analysts views on how the organization performed.

Mel Kiper - ESPN 

Grade: B

"The Lions also got my third- and fourth-ranked guards in the class, as Jonah Jackson (75) and Logan Stenberg (121) could be asked to play early. Quintez Cephus (166) got lost a little bit in a deep wide receiver class, but he could be a nice Day 3 find.

"Overall, for a coaching staff and front office that needs to win now, the Lions did about the best they could, though this class won't wow you".

Sports Illustrated - Andy Benoit 

Grade: A

"What reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore has brought to New England, the Lions hope Jeff Okudah will bring to Detroit. He’s a slightly different style of corner than the physical Gilmore; what scouts liked most about Okudah is he has the agility to mirror wide receivers.

"Offensively, the focus was on the running game. The Lions resumed their ongoing efforts to find Barry Sanders’s replacement. The latest swing here, D'Andre Swift, was a highly refined zone runner at Georgia and will operate mainly out of those designs in coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense. Swift has the lateral agility to create his own space, and his potential explosiveness as a receiver could do wonders for a Lions offense that must regain some aerial balance after becoming heavily skewed toward vertical throws in 2019. With sustaining third-year back Kerryon Johnson aboard, expect Swift to fill an Alvin Kamara type role."

Sporting News - Vinnie Iyer

Grade: B-

"Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia started with a bang in Okudah, and their best picks after that related to biggest need and value were Okwara and Jackson. They weren’t in a position to take Swift as a luxury pick and possible upgrade to oft-injured but talented Kerryon Johnson. They could have done more to consider the defense at linebacker and tackle vs. doubling up on guard after getting Jackson."

NFL.com - Chad Reuter

Grade: A-

"On the first two days of the draft, the Lions secured a shutdown cornerback, explosive running back, much-needed interior offensive line help and brought together two family members in a literal sense. They hit the offensive line again with Stenberg, who has exactly the type of nastiness and strength you want up front -- at times it got the best of him during his collegiate career, though, so maturity will be a factor in how fast he can contribute. Cephus was a third-round talent with a seventh-round 40 time (4.73). He'll be a factor in the Lions' offense sooner than later. Huntley can be a special teams ace. Penisini meets the team's need for a backup nose tackle."

Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Grade: A-

"Circumstance aside, I thought Quinn did a good job filling holes while adding talent through most of the draft. He took the best cornerback and running back available, he brought in two potential mid-round starters for the interior of the offensive line, and he got a pass rusher with upside in Round 3.

I think the Lions neglected their need on the interior of the defensive line for too long, and I didn't get the pick they made at receiver, for reasons other than talent. But teams can't fill every hole in the draft and the Lions didn't have any what-the-heck-are-they-thinking moments.

For that reason, and because they maximized their top two picks, I'm giving him them an A-minus for the draft."

USA Today - Nate Davis

Grade: B

"Adding No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah to the defense and upgrading QB Matthew Stafford's arsenal with second-round RB D'Andre Swift – good luck finding a better all-purpose back in this draft – and a pair of guards to keep him off his back should equate to a pretty good weekend's work."


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