When the Detroit Lions came on the clock Thursday night, they likely did not expect to come out of the night with arguably the top player in the draft as well as a top wideout, but that’s exactly what happened.
Detroit had to pull some strings to make it happen with a trade up, but the move paid dividends as it allowed the team to collect a few of this draft’s biggest star players. Folks have taken fast notice of what the team has done and the applause has started to roll in.
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Player metrics and rankings account for a lot anymore in terms of evaluations, and coming into the draft, both guys the Lions ended up landing had phenomenal grades. As a result, Pro Football Focus analyst Mike Renner likes the haul of the team from the first round out of anyone.
“The Lions came into (Thursday) night with picks 2 and 32 and left with the top ranked DE and WR on the PFF draft board. My favorite day 1 haul,” Renner wrote.
PFF seems to love most of Detroit’s picks, showing that the metrics could point to the Lions being a force in the future. The players have to play, but thus far, the draft seems to be hitting all the right notes.
Analyst ‘Loved’ Lions Draft After Early Rounds
It wasn’t just folks that follow metrics gushing about the Detroit performance in the draft. Television analysts loved it too. Peter Schrager of the NFL Network admitted that he also came away wowed by the Lions in a big way for what they were able to get done in the draft right off the bat, and the moves were a “home run” for the team given how they approached the draft.
“Hutchinson and Jameson Williams. Are you serious? The Lions? I love this draft for Detroit. I think Brad Holmes hit a home run in his second draft as the Lions’ GM,” Schrager said in his analysis.
It’s not typical to see the Lions garnering this much praise for any pick much less a pair in the first round, so this is significant for the Lions. It could mean very good news for their future on both offense and defense.
Lions Kicked Off Draft With Solid Performance
To hear the picks getting lauded is not a surprise given what happened. Detroit did the right things when they were on the clock Thursday night to get the draft going. When Hutchinson slipped down the board, they didn’t panic and took him. When the opportunity came to make a big time trade for the Lions, they jumped at it and added a player who was elite in Williams. After that, the team added a pair of solid defenders on day two in Kentucky lineman Josh Paschal and Illinois safety Kirby Joseph. That’s good work before the draft’s final day.
Regardless of what the rest of the draft looks like, it seems folks are very happy with what the Lions were able to do early. That’s a major feather in the cap for Brad Holmes and the Lions, who may have found a way to score a big draft win when all is said and done.