SnapShot: Grading Detroit's Draft

After less than a week to digest the draft, RoarReport.com's Josh Liskiewitz offers his final grades on Detroit's prospects, further analysis on the entire draft class, how the team fared overall, and more.

Player Grades:

Nick Fairley A
Titus Young B
Mikel LeShoure A
Doug Hogue B -
Johnny Culbreath A

Top Drafts:

1. Cleveland
2. Indianapolis
3. Tampa Bay
4. Detroit
5. Baltimore
6. Green Bay
7. San Francisco
8. Arizona
9. Pittsburgh
10. Washington 

While it was no surprise that Detroit addressed the defensive line with their first pick, most expected a defensive end to be the pick.  Fairley was the No. 1 player on Detroit's entire board, however, and his athleticism and versatility gives the Lions some options, as he (and Suh for that matter) is capable of sliding out to DE on running downs, allowing pass rush specialists like Cliff Avril to rest up for third down.

Detroit also addressed some of their glaring needs on offense.  Mikel Leshoure will play the role of feature back, allowing Best to play on the perimeter where he can show off his versatility and explosiveness.  The Lions desperately needed to add a viable No. 3 receiver, and Titus Young has the quickness and explosiveness to play immediately.  He also adds youth and explosiveness to the return game.  Johnny Culbreath is more than just a late-round flyer, as he has the potential to start at left tackle after a season or two of experience.  This was the perfect way to address this need, as the Lions can be patient while grooming him as longtime LT Jeff Backus enters the twilight of his career in Detroit, but should have another season or two of effectiveness in him.

What Needs to be Addressed in Free Agency?

Detroit could have addressed the interior of their offensive line in the middle rounds, but simply did not have the picks to do so.  While I wouldn't expect them to pursue a starter whenever free agency opens up, they should look for one or two backups that are capable of play multiple positions along the interior.

The defensive back seven remains Detroit's most glaring need, as fifth round pick OLB Doug Hogue is at this point a special teamer and developmental project, and no secondary players were drafted.  Expect Detroit to pursue at least one starting linebacker in free agency, as well as a starting corner, possibly even a safety.

AT A GLANCE: Detroit's Selections


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