Lions Officially Sign Key Rookie Defender From 2020 Draft Class

John Penisini

Getty John Penisini pressures Texas during a game.

The Detroit Lions made a move to get signings going on their 2020 draft class over the weekend by revealing they had agreed to deals with guard Logan Stenberg and defensive tackle John Penisini.

Stenberg’s agreement was previously reported by his agent, but the team revealed they had also agreed to terms with defensive tackle John Penisini. The former Utah lineman was selected by Detroit this year during the 6th round of the draft.

Penisini comes to Detroit looking to make an impact on the team’s interior. It’s a good bet he will be given a chance to do so because the Lions didn’t draft an interior player early on in 2020.

John Penisini Claimed He’s Draft’s Biggest Sleeper

When the Lions selected John Penisini in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the defensive tackle admitted he was nervous to be lasting so late in the draft. Following being selected, Penisini admitted to relief, but also said folks would soon find out he was the most slept on player in the draft class.

Penisini played for Utah where he was most known as a clogger up front for the Utes. In his career, he had 80 total tackles, 5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He’s a better run stuffer and offers little in terms of a pass rush, but will be a player who will be counted on to stuff the middle for the Lions and add depth at the tackle position.

Whether or not he becomes the most overlooked player in the 2020 draft is now for Penisini to determine.

Lions Draft Class Rated High Against NFL

How does Detroit’s draft class rate against all their competition in the league as a whole? It’s a hard question to answer, but recently, a pair of writers tried by stacking up all the drafts against each other and rating them 1-32.

Detroit’s 2020 class shapes up pretty well. According to a piece by Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr, Detroit should score an A- for their draft work a few weeks back. The entire class itself ranks within the league’s top 10, coming in as the No. 8 overall class in the NFL.

According to Filice in a lengthy writeup, the way the Lions filled needs in a diverse fashion offensively and defensively means their draft was very successful. Detroit added defense early with Jeff Okudah, scored potential steals with D’Andre Swift and Romeo Okwara and managed to help fix their ground game with Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg, a pair of guards with different skill sets yet similar outlook.

Obviously, it’s true the Lions have done a great job in this draft considering all their needs and how they managed to balance them out. That’s just what this in-depth analysis seems to show. As a result, the team could be able to turn the corner in the short term given the elite class.

Lions 2020 Draft Class

The Lions had a busy weekend, picking up cornerback Jeff Okudah, running back D’Andre Swift, guard Jonah Jackson, edge rusher Julian Okwara, guard Logan Stenberg, wideout Quintez Cephus, running back Jason Huntley, defensive tackle John Penisini and defensive lineman Jashon Cornell. As a whole, the draft class was solid in plenty of ways. Detroit addressed some of their biggest needs including a new cornerback as well as toughness on the offensive and defensive lines. They also added a potentially elite runner in Swift.

Many have graded the draft highly as a result, and it looks as if the Lions may have even found a few steals along the way to help them out as well. They might have scored one of the best classes in the league as a result.

Now, Penisini joins Stenberg as players officially in the mix for 2020.

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