Post-Draft

First off, you will not be seeing any "Draft Grades" here.  I'll leave it up to the "professionals" to grade players who have yet to go through an NFL practice.

I expected the Lions to play it safe in order to preserve the jobs of the brain trust and coaching staff.  Minus the Larry Warford pick in Round 3, they did the exact opposite.  Multiple upside gambles, another highly selected injury risk, and not a single offensive tackle were what Lions fans were left with when the lights turned off at Radio City Music Hall.

In a way, the boom-or-bust nature of this class will define the tenure of Martin Mayhew.  If Ansah can dominate off the edge early, as he did in the Senior Bowl, and Slay becomes a shutdown outside corner, Mayhew will be viewed as a strong drafter who took calculated risks and won.  If the rawness of those two players requires years of development, which is likely, Mayhew may not be around to see them as finished products.  

The major downside to the Lions draft, to me, is the lack of offensive line help.  I love the Warford pick, since I wanted him at the top of the second round.  He is a plug-and-play guard that will immediately upgrade our interior blocking.  However, not a single tackle was taken after losing both starters, and we could have used a developmental center to push Raiola.  It really won't matter how the other picks pan out if Stafford goes down with a significant injury this season.

Our defensive line got bigger, stronger, longer, and somehow more athletic at the same time.  I think Devin Taylor will be a great situational pass rusher, and our run defense should be much better going forward.  Everything else is just a guess at this point.  As only a Lions fan can understand, "here's hoping."