Grading the Lions Draft: Day One

How did Detroit fair? We grade the Lions based on the team's three picks from Day One. Analysis and more inside, including head coach Jim Schwartz's comments on each player.

Schwartz on Stafford:
"I think the most interesting thing with that was leadership. His style of leadership has come from a lot of different people. He's a calming influence on the huddle."

Selection: Round 1 / Pick 1

Analysis: Detroit couldn't leave the position unaddressed, especially with an aging, injury-prone Daunte Culpepper as the team's only realistic option behind center. Stafford gives the Lions a signal caller, and one that by all accounts, has a bright future in front of him.

Why Not Aaron Curry: Jim Schwartz's defense doesn't require a stud in the middle, and Curry's value (he went No. 4 overall) didn't reciprocate the No. 1 pick. Moreover, it's a heavy investment in a player that has never played a snap at MLB, let alone the position in the professional level.

Grade: A -


 

Schwartz on Pettigrew:
"You need a guy that can block the edge (to run the football) and he's a guy that can do that. He's got really soft hands; reliable hands. Not necessarily a vertical threat down the field, but he's going to be a good target in the red zone and gives a big target."

Selection: Round 1 / Pick 20

Analysis: A surprising but potentially strong pick for Detroit. Pettigrew was the top ranked tight end in this draft, and gives the team what it was missing -- and what OC Scott Linehan requires: a pass catching tight end that can block. Pettigrew's versatility will help quell some of Detroit's offensive line problems, and give the starting quarterback a sure-handed, large weapon in the middle of the field.

Why Not LB or LT: This pick actually helps shore up the offensive line concern, but not completely. In addition, the Lions didn't feel any of the LBs available (James Laurinaitis or Rey Maualuga) met the value at 20th overall. This was clearly a BPA pick.

Grade: B -


 

Schwartz on Delmas:
"He is versatile. He's a playmaker. He's got corner in his background. He can cover a third wide receiver. Plays the pass and plays the run. He's aggressive. Really like his profile. Martin (Mayhew) talked about guys like Ed Reed; talked about Troy Polomalu. Also a guy like Bob Sanders. He's a tempo-setter, he's an attitude player - excited about him."

Selection: Round 2 / Pick 33

Analysis: With Maualuga and Laurinaitis still on the board, Detroit optioned to pad the secondary with immediate help. Delmas is a run-stopping, ball-seeking, All-World safety. Although he's a tad on the small side (5-11, 197), he's a ferocious hitter and will start in the secondary opposite fellow safety Daniel Bullocks. Considering Detroit's secondary issues in 2008 (they allowed 404 passing yards ... per game), the pick makes sense.

Why Not LB or LT: This wouldn't have been a bad slot to pick either Maualuga, Laurinaitis, or even offensive tackle Eben Britton. This was obviously another "value" pick for the Lions, who simply had Delmas ranked higher than others available. Regardless, it still leaves the team short at DT, OL and MLB.

Grade: B-

 

OVERALL DRAFT GRADE ON DAY ONE:

B

 

 

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