Lions Draft Class Earns Impressive Distinctions From Next Gen Stats

Jahmyr Gibbs

Getty Jahmyr Gibbs runs against LSU for Alabama in 2022.

The Detroit Lions finished off yet another NFL draft week, and now that the class has been completed, folks can begin to draw some conclusions about what played out over the past few days.

Already, some pretty good conclusions are being drawn about Detroit’s class overall, and Next Gen Stats is painting a pretty bright picture of what the Lions have managed to do with their draft.

In the aftermath of the picks playing out, Next Gen Stats revealed that the Lions may have crushed the NFL draft in a big way this year. As the site pointed out, Detroit’s class may have been best overall in terms of the talent they were able to acquire early in the draft.

As a result, the Lions’ class was ranked as the top one in the league in terms of Next Gen Stats. The site pointed that out following the draft wrapping up.

“Which NFL team had the best all-around draft class by the NGS overall draft score? Of the six players the Lions drafted which received draft scores from the NGS Draft Model, only one had an overall score less than 80,” the site tweeted.

Detroit’s overall score of 81 just edged out the Tennessee Titans who had a score of 80 and also the New York Giants who’s score of 79 placed them third. It gave them the top class in the league in terms of a team’s top seven picks.

It’s a pretty significant feather in the cap for Brad Holmes and crew to get this kind of love after the draft has wrapped up.

Next Gen: Lions Draft Makes History Not Seen in 20 Years

How good could the Detroit class be? It’s more than possible that the team will have a top class when all is said and done if the Next Gen Stats model proves itself to be right.

Detroit’s 2023 class made some more history in terms of the metric, and it was something not seen in 20 years from a group of players selected in the draft. As was pointed out, Detroit’s class was the first since 2003 where the first five picks earned at least an NGS overall score of 80.

“The Lions’ draft class is the first since 2003 to have each of its first five picks earn at least an 80 NGS overall draft score, a threshold that represents the top 15% of historical prospects within their respective positions,” the site tweeted.

As those numbers prove, Detroit’s class could certainly be on track to make some history as it relates to production in the league. The metric is fairly confident in the players the Lions selected having solid careers, and for the draft class to make that much history in terms of potential production is very significant.

Recapping Lions’ 2023 NFL Draft

Coming into this year’s draft, the Lions had the potential to do such damage, because the team started with four picks in the first two rounds of the draft, and had 10 selections overall.

On the first day of the draft, the Lions added explosive Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick after a trade down as well as Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell. In the immediate aftermath, the team was questioned for the moves relative to where the players were ranked, but Holmes defended the selections effectively.

During day two, the Lions quickly struck with pick 34, adding gritty Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta, a player that many see as one of the next top tight ends in the league. Detroit would trade up modestly from pick 48 to 45 for Brian Branch, a top defensive back with strong character. In the third-round, Detroit traded back from pick 55 and then pick 63 to 68. When there, they nabbed quarterback Hendon Hooker.

By day three, the Lions didn’t have many picks to work with, but they did add a developmental lineman in Colby Sorsdal in the fifth-round at pick 152. The team closed down the draft by nabbing wideout Antoine Green at pick 219.

Overall, this was a solid class for the Lions, and in terms of the numbers, it might be even better.

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