The Detroit Lions entered the draft with needs at 5 positions. The Lions with one of the worst rushing offenses in the league needed help with the offensive line. The retirement of Calvin Johnson left a hole at wide receiver, that I don’t think was quite filled with the Marvin Jones signing. Don’t get me wrong I think Marvin Jones was a great sign but with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones as the 1 and 2 the Lions will need a legitimate 3 receiver and I don’t think the Lions currently have a legitimate 3. Despite re-signing Haloti Ngata and signing Wallace Gilberry away from the Cincinnati Bengals the Lions need fresh young talent not only in the middle of their defensive line but also on the end so that offensive co-ordinators won’t be able to scheme to take Ziggy Ansah out of the game. If De’Andre Levy missing last season due to injury taught us anything its that the Lions need better depth at the linebacker position. Finally the Lions needed to find a way to replace James Ihedigbo and Isa Abdul-Quddus in the secondary.
The Lions had 10 picks overall in the 2015 draft.In the 1st round the Lions had the 16th overall pick. In the 2nd round they had the 15th pick of the round and 46th overall. In the 3rd round the Lions received a compensatory pick the 33rd pick of the round and 95th overall. In the 4th round they had the 13th pick of the round and 111th overall. In the 5th round the Lions had the 12th pick of the round and 151st overall, In addition from trade that brought the Lions Manny Ramirez last season, they also received from Denver the 32nd pick of the round and 169th overall. In the 6th round the Lions had the 16th pick of the round and 191st overall, in addition they received the 27th pick of the round and 202nd overall from Seattle; as well as a compensatory pick the 35th pick of the round and 210th overall. In the 7th and final round the Lions had the 15th pick of the round and the 236th overall.
1. #16- For the second year in a row the Lions took an offensive lineman in the 1st round.With this pick the Lions took Ohio State senior OT Taylor Decker. If this kid is as good as his scouting report claims this kid should be the starting right tackle Week 1. Grade: A
2. #15(#46)-The Lions definitely needed to get a defensive tackle they could bring along, and learning behind the likes of Haloti Ngata and Wallace Gilberry can only help. With this pick the Lions took junior Alabama DT A’Shawn Robinson. Robinson at Alabama played in 42 games amassing 133 tackles 50 solo tackles 22 tackles for loss 9 sacks 19 hurries. Robinson had a production ratio 0.74 a solo tackle percentage of 37.6% and averaged 3.2 tackles a game. I think he’ll be a good rotational player with Tyrunn Walker and Caraun Reid. Hopefully by year 3 he’ll be ready to step into one of the starting DT spots in the Lions 4-3 defense. Grade: B+
3. #33(#93)-Good help on the offensive line is hard to come by and having a swing man on the inside who plays center and guard is always helpful. With this pick the Lions took senior Michigan C Graham Glasgow. With a young Travis Swanson at center the importance of having a good center behind him can’t be understated. Grade: B
4. #13(#111)- With this pick the Lions took senior Southern Utah State SS Miles Killebrew. In 4 seasons at Southern Utah State, Killebrew played in 46 games had 356 tackles, 210 solo tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 0 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 23 passes defensed. Killebrew had a solo tackle percentage of 59% and averaged 7.7 tackles per game. With the loss of hard hitters like Ihedigo and Abdul-Quddus, Killebrew can be a hybrid saftey/linebacker like Mark Barron, simply put I see this kid as a Week 1 starter. Grade:B+
5. #12(#151)- With this pick the Lions took senior Washington State OG Joe Dahl. Good young backups on the offensive line are hard to come by. This was the third offensive lineman the Lions took at this point in the draft, I think a wide receiver might have been a better pick at this point. Grade: B-
6. #32(#169)-With this pick the Lions took senior Georgia Southern LB Antoine Williams. Williams in 2 seasons of playing time played in 25 games and had 173 tackles, 95 solo tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 7 passes defensed. Williams recorded a 1.02 production ratio averaged 6.9 tackles a game and had a solo tackle percentage of 54.9%. The Lions needed a pass rusher off the edge, Williams looks like he can be that guy from Week 1. Grade: A
7. #16(#191)- With this pick the Lions took senior Michigan QB Jake Rudock. Rudock played in 38 games for the Wolverines recording 666 completions on 1,080 attempts for 54 touchdowns, 27 interceptions, and 7,386 yards. Rudock compiled a 61.7 completion percentage, 5.0 touchdown percentage, a 2.5 interception percentage resulting in a 2.5 TID while averaging 7.3 yards an attempt and 206.2 yards a game. The 6th round is always a safe place to take a flier on a quarterback who will most likely be a career backup, but with the Lions only keeping 2 QBs and almost no mileage on backup Dan Orlovsky, I don’t see Orlovsky getting cut a cornerback might have been a better way to go here. Grade: C+
8. #27(#202)-With this pick the Lions took senior Penn State DT Anthony Zettel. Zettel in 50 games with the Nittany Lions had 120 tackles, 69 solo tackles, 38 tackles for loss 20 sacks, 15 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions. He also compiled a 57.5 solo tackle percentage and a 1.16 production ratio. His ability to drop back in coverage as well as his ability to get to the quarterback as an undersized defensive tackle expect him to transition to linebacker. Zettel has a much higher production ratio than second round pick A’Shawn Robinson and 5th round pick Antoine Williams, as such I would have to say that this kid could turn out to be one of the biggest steals in the draft.This pick also gives the Lions great depth at the linebacker position. Grade:A
9.#35(#210)With this pick the Lions took senior Baylor LS Jimmy Landes. With Don Muhlback entering his 13th season, if he can create chemistry early with Matt Prater and Sean Martin he might make the 53 man roster. Even though this was a compensatory pick, the Lions probably could have signed him as a free agent, I still think a wide receiver would have been a better option at this point. Grade: D
10.#15(#236)- With this pick the Lions took senior Washington RB Dwayne Washington. In 35 games for the Huskies Washington had 1,311 yards on 226 attempts averaging 5.8 yards an attempt and 37.5 yards a game with 17 touchdowns. He also had 41 receptions for 411 yards averaging 10 yards a catch, 1.2 catches a game and 11.7 yards a game with 4 touchdowns. This pick makes no sense to me with Ameer Abdullah, Stevan Ridley, Zack Zenner and Theo Riddick this kid has no chance of making the Lions roster again I know I’m being repetitive but a wide receiver or even a cornerback might have been a better pick here. Grade:D
The Lions didn’t address their needs at cornerback or wide receiver nonetheless I feel they addressed their major needs in the draft on the offensive line as well as the front seven. A stronger front seven should be able to compensate for some deficiencies in the secondary. With a stouter offensive line the running game should be able to relieve the pressure on the passing game that Calvin Johnson’s retirement leaves. Overall I think the Lions did well. Grade: B