Lions Receive Outstanding Grade for 2021 Draft Class

Brad Holmes

Getty Lions general manager Brad Holmes on the field during training camp in 2021.

The Detroit Lions managed to put together one of the better draft classes of the 2021 year, and the proof of that has been showing up not only on the field but in the rankings after the season as well.

Detroit’s class played a leading role in their season, and while the Lions stumbled to a 3-13-1 finish, the experience the team got on the field was the most important thing to note. It isn’t a stretch to say the rookies played the biggest role on the team most of the year, which was a great development for the Detroit cause.

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After the season, folks are beginning to take note of the fact that the Lions might just have one of the best draft classes in the league. Already, that concept has been popularized and took the love to yet another level within a new piece.

Rating every class in the league, the site managed to give the Lions one of the highest grades at an A- and they came in fourth position overall against their competition. Writer Gennaro Filice took a look at breaking down all of Detroit’s selections and he admitted to being impressed with the work the team did even in spite of the many ups and downs rookie players face. As he wrote in the piece, “with Year 1 in the books, Detroit’s new regime deserves a hearty slap on the back for the rookie class as a whole.”

From Amon-Ra St. Brown’s impressive 912 yards and 5 touchdown finish to Alim McNeill collecting 2 sacks and 39 tackles to the 16 starts by Penei Sewell at tackle, the class was phenomenal top to bottom and offers the team a nice chance at forming a bedrock for the future.

To see it given another high grade is a major feather in the cap for the Lions and their new general manager Brad Holmes.

Lions 2021 NFL Draft Recap

Detroit came into the draft and was wide open for the most part after selecting Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft and even after Onwuzurike in the second-round. In the third-round, the Lions selected defensive lineman McNeill and cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu. Day three, the Lions picked St.Brown, a wideout, and Barnes, a linebacker. Finally, the team closed out their draft by grabbing Jefferson, a running back, in the seventh-round. Sewell’s addition feels huge given what the team needs, as are the defensive fill-ins at key spots.

No matter whether it was offense or defense, the Lions seemed to fill their needs very confidently as the weekend rolled on. The class had good balance, and it also managed to gain a few more upgrades with the undrafted free agent class, bolstered by Jerry Jacobs and AJ Parker.

The team’s first draft with a new regime seems to be off to a good start in the minds of many league experts, and that is only more true after watching their work on the field.

Lions 2022 Draft Class Looking to Repeat as Elite

It’s not easy to go back to back as it relates to nailing most of your draft picks as a team, but that is the goal the Lions will have for this year’s draft. The team is looking to fortify more spots of need on their roster including the defensive line, the secondary, linebacker, wide receiver, tight end and perhaps even the quarterback spot. Such success would seem hard to replicate, but in Holmes, the Lions have an ace former scouting director that has proven dating back to his time with Los Angeles that he can find the right players. While with the Rams, Holmes oversaw the selection of players like Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp, a pair of foundational pieces on both sides of the ball.

This year, the Lions themselves will have 10 draft picks with which to work going into the weekend. They are the second-overall and 32nd overall picks of round one, the 34th overall pick in round two, the 66th and 101st overall picks of the third round, the 176th overall pick of the fifth round, the 180th overall pick of the sixth round and the 217th, 231st and 239th overall picks in the seventh round.

Whether they can ace this impending draft remains to be seen, but there will be plenty of cracks at it.

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