Saturday, April 28, 2018

2018 NFL Draft - Detroit Lions - Rounds 4 through 7+

DE/DT Da'Shawn Hand
OT/OG Tyrell Crosby
FB/QB Nick Bawden

Day 3, the final day, of the 2018 NFL Draft is in the books (fyi: that means finished). The Detroit Lions finally answered the question on how they were going to address the defensive line when only having picks in rounds 5 and 7 remaining. They didn't. Address the defensive line that is, with those picks, just like they didn't with the picks from the first two days. Maybe the whole issue with the DL in 2017 was the coaching after all? Maybe they plan to address it in 2019 instead? Ah, but see, they did, sort of. Yesterday they traded their 4th round pick to the Patriots to move up in round two in order to select RB Kerryon Johnson. So today, surprise (not really, I said they might both in my blog post last night and in the chat room in my forum today) they traded their 2019 third round pick in order to get back into the 4th round and then drafted DE/DT Da'Shawn Hand. Get this, they traded with the Patriots. So now you can say the Lions traded their 2019 third round pick to move up in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft, and be mostly accurate. That's a lot of capital to spend on a RB. But I digress. In fact, I'm all over the place here, so let's start this in a more orderly fashion. I mean, I could write thousands of words on just day 3 and not cover all the material, so time to do this NetRat style.

In the 2018 draft on day 3 the Detroit Lions started by trading their 2019 3rd round pick to the Patriots to select DE/DT Da'Shawn Hand. Da'Shawn has an RAS score of 8.74. That makes him an elite athlete. Since he weighs in at 282 pounds and can play defensive end, that kind of goes without saying. But wait, when they say he plays DE, they mean in a 3-4, which is a bit different then in a 4-3 style defense. So he is a classic tweener. Not quite heavy enough to play DT full time, not quite light enough to play DE in a 4-3. But should you put together a package of defensive plays that alternate him inside, outside, and with a blitzing LB then you have a versatile chapter in your defensive playbook. That is what I think the Lions were looking for all along. If not, they sure didn't find what they were looking for instead, so I hope this is what they desired to have in the draft. Mr Hand showed up in all 5 of my draft guides, plus he is on most all online rankings as well. He managed a 2nd round grade in one of the guides, a 3rd round grade in two of the guides, and 5th/6th round grades in the others that I looked at. Apparently those who reviewed his film (not those that work for the Lions) couldn't come to common ground on how he'll do in the NFL versus how he did in college. With his athletic score proving he is an elite athlete, and with at least some others outside of the Lions believing he was worth being drafted in either rounds 2 or 3... there is at least a chance this was not a waste of next year's 3rd round pick. As long as you ignore completely the trading up last night for Kerryon, but alas, I shall not go there.

With the Lions own 5th round pick they selected OT/OG Tyrell Crosby, who is ranked by some as a 2nd round type of player but with some medical concerns. One guide goes on to say they believe he will be a solid starter at left tackle in the NFL. Another guide says he could play left or right tackle, and there is no reason to believe he couldn't play guard if needed to. So I guess versatile is the word. Now this pick I can understand and get behind. Might even be a value pick since it was the 5th round. During the latter part of the draft I had received a text about an article from someone at that read he is as good as former first round pick Michael Oher. Only one guide was super critical of his play, mostly saying he is 'grabby' and isn't good in space. Which makes me wonder, if true, if he won't be a guard instead of a tackle. Perhaps he'll be depth only at tackle and guard for now, but as the 4th best OT in the draft (according to almost everyone) that isn't such a horrible thing for a 5th round pick.

The Lions didn't do any 'stupid GM tricks' in the 6th round, and then drafted in the 7th round Nick Bawden. Some of you caught in the beginning I put in he is a FB/QB and are probably trying to figure out why. Well, it seems Nick started out as a QB... I'll just insert a portion of Bruglar's Draft Guide Here (worth the $5 he charges each year by the way)... BACKGROUND: A two-star quarterback recruit out of high school, Charles Nicholas “Nick” Bawden was a two-year starting quarterback at Los Gatos, throwing for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior. He received only two Division-I scholarship offers out of high school and committed to San Diego State as a quarterback over Eastern Washington. He was thrust into action as a true freshman due to injury and made two starts in 2014, completing 34.2% of his passes with one touchdown and two interceptions. Aztecs head coach Rocky Long gave Bawden a choice of moving positions or transferring if he wanted to remain at quarterback and he elected to become a fullback. After not recording any statistics as a back-up in 2015, he started 11 games at fullback as a junior and recorded 15 catches for 137 yards in 2016. Bawden started 12 games as a senior and finished with 15 receptions for 103 yards and his only career touchdown catch. He accepted his invitation to the 2018 Senior Bowl.

So yeah, our 7th round pick is a Fullback, sort of, and a QB, sort of. I have no idea how the Lions plan to use him, most likely they plan to waive him and put him on the practice squad, but who knows, maybe they are going back to using a FB more often. I mean, they did say they wanted to fix the run game. They did fire the OL coach. They did sign a free agent running back. They did draft a running back in round 2. They did draft a guard (or is he a center) in round 1. If these moves don't fix the run game then there is something definitely wrong in Denmark (that's a saying by the way).

After the draft the Lions started signing undrafted guys, or are rumored to have. Not all these rumors will prove to be true, every year something ends up different, but at the moment they supposedly got:

DE Jojo Wicker, Arizona State (RUMOR)
G John Montelus, Virginia (Source)
DB Chris Jones, Nebraska (Source)
DB Antwuan Davis, Texas (Source)
DB Amari Coleman, Central Michigan (Source)
WR Teo Redding, Bowling Green (Source)
CB Mike Ford, Southeast Missouri State (Source)
LB Chad Meredith, Southeast Missouri State (Source)
S Anthony Sherrils, Missouri (Source)
OL Brett Kendrick, Tennessee (Source)
LB Al-Rasheed Benton, West Virginia (Source)
K/P Ryan Santoso, Minnesota (Source)

UDFAs invited to Lions minicamp
DL Michael Hill, Ohio State (Source)

None of whom are WR Brandon Bean who I truly thought they were going to draft in round 7 or sign after the draft... I mentioned as much last night, oh well, the Lions did a lot of unexpected things this week. Including repeatedly passing on many of the DT and DE prospects available, all through the draft and even after, with the noted exception(s). Like I said, they must have a DL plan that I am not aware of, or truly feel the only DL issue was the coaching.

So to summarize the draft, using my "big board" as a reference, and including each player's RAS scores from when I last updated my database of them, we have:

1st round, my 41st ranked player, taken at 20, C/G Frank Ragnow. RAS of 9.85 (anything over an 8.0 is elite, anything over 5.0 is above average). 319 pounds of OL muscle.

2nd round, my 68th ranked player, taken by trading away the 4th round pick and moving up higher in the 2nd, RB Kerryon Johnson. RAS of 6.93 (which I think went up slightly after his pro-day). 212 pounds of hopefully upgraded running back.

3rd round, my 181st ranked player, taken way too early by most accounts (other then the Lions account), FS Tracy Walker. RAS of 6.74 and if he can stay healthy and learn for year plus with a year in the NFL weight training program, could be our new starting FS sooner rather then later.

4th round, my 125th ranked player, taken with our 2019 3rd round pick, DE Da'Shawn Hand. RAS of 8.74. 282 pounds of tweener that is not called that any more, rather he is 'versatile'. Should he rotate in and produce he can be called whatever anyone wants.

5th round, my 45th ranked player, taken in potentially in a super value spot without any crazy trading, OT/OG Tyrell Crosby. RAS of 6.19. 320 pounds of huge potential as a quality OL player. My personal favorite pick of this draft (sorry about the jinx I just laid on you).

7th round, my 338th ranked player (okay, you caught me, I only ranked 337 guys, none were this guy), FB/QB Nick Bawden. RAS of 7.89 (very nearly elite). 244 pounds of the most bad-ass QB you ever saw (I hope). It makes the whole draft more interesting at any rate.

And a slew of undrafted guys, none of whom are the guys I had wanted the Lions to draft in round 7 either. The top one being DE Hercules Mata'afa who is rumored to be a Viking now. I haven't heard what happened to WR Bean as of yet either. Anyway, I'll go into more detail later, should it appear needed, after I allow this all to soak in a bit first. This is the kind of draft you need to give time to, so you can get over your own, even if not admitted, beliefs of who should have been drafted instead.

Edit: new information found less then an hour ago... this explains a few things from day 2!

Adam Schefter ‏Verified account @adamschefter Lions keep picking players before other teams can. Detroit drafted Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson at No. 43 with Washington preparing to take him at No. 44. Then Detroit drafted UL Laf CB Tracy Walker at No. 82 before Carolina could get him at No. 85. Always stories behind each pick. 8:20 AM - 28 Apr 2018

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