The Detroit Lions picked up defensive lineman Jashon Cornell with their final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and while most might not be counting on big things from the rookie, there could be good news on the horizon for his development.
According to Pro Football Focus, Cornell was one of the most productive interior defensive players in college football last season. Interestingly, his 90.2 rating compared favorably with Derrick Brown, a player the Lions were reportedly considering selecting in the No. 3 slot of the draft.
Cornell, of course, slipped to Detroit with a late pick considering he wasn’t high on the depth chart while playing with the Ohio State Buckeyes until his solid senior season, but obviously, these numbers show there is pro potential for the player once he takes the next step into the league.
Another thing working to Cornell’s advantage? He joins a Detroit defensive line that has not added much this offseason. Fellow rookie tackle John Penisini was the only player drafted from the class, and they will join Danny Shelton in the middle of the line. Obviously, the chance is there for Cornell to show he belongs.
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 NFL.com 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.
That might be even more the case if a player like Cornell turns into something.
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.
That could certainly be the case with Cornell when all is said and done.