The Detroit Lions did some heavy lifting in the NFL Draft in terms of finding plenty of players who can make an impact, but who amongst the group will be starters immediately?
That’s a question many are asking now, as the team begins to ponder the future of their new players. Most can agree the Lions scored in a big way during the NFL Draft, but just how big was their haul? Most figure Penei Sewell to play right away, but beyond that, roles could be seen as a mystery.
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According to Bleacher Report and writer Maurice Moton, the best bets to be starters for the team could come in the third and fourth round in the form of Ifeatu Melifonwu and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Here’s what he wrote about why:
“The Lions may have snagged a pair of starters in Rounds 3 and 4.
With a new regime in place, third-rounder Ifeatu Melifonwu could eventually push Amani Oruwariye for a starting job opposite Jeff Okudah. At 6’3″, 205 pounds, he’s a long athletic cornerback who can challenge wide receivers with press coverage.
Amon-Ra St. Brown could slide into three-wide receiver sets with Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. He can line up on the outside or in the slot, which may allow him to play most of the offensive snaps in the upcoming season, which says a lot for an early Day 3 pick.
St. Brown doesn’t have top-end speed, but quarterback Jared Goff will appreciate the rookie wideout’s ability to adjust to off-target passes and pull in contested catches.”
According to the site, the Lions scored in this draft and are one of the most improved teams in the league as a result. If that is to be the case, the team will have to find plenty of starters and getting some from the middle rounds would be a phenomenal start for the team.
PFF Gives Lions High Grade for NFL Draft Work
After the draft, the grades have begun to roll in for the team, and if there’s one theme, it’s that the Lions had one of the better classes in the NFL this season.
Interestingly enough, one of the highest grades on the internet comes from Pro Football Focus. The site graded every class in the league, and the Lions cashed in on an A- from the site as their final mark.
Why the high grade? The site not only liked the team landing Penei Sewell, but the upgrades they made to their defensive line as well as cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu and wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown. The solid work on defense as well as what the Lions did on the offensive side.
Most folks think the Lions did well, but an A- might be one of the higher grades the team has been mentioned as having in recent memory. It’s a new era in Detroit, and clearly Brad Holmes is doing some exceptional work to start off his tenure.
Lions 2021 NFL Draft Recap
Detroit came into the draft and was wide open for the most part after selecting Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft and even after Levi Onwuzurike in the second-round. In the third-round, the Lions selected defensive lineman Alim McNeill and cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu. Day three, the Lions picked wideout Amon-Ra St.Brown and linebacker Derrick Barnes. Finally, the team closed out their draft by grabbing running back Jermar Jefferson 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 overall offense to defense.
If there are a few new starters to be had, that would be a great development for the team.