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Karnage84

EARLY DRAFT GRADES FOR THE 2019 CLASS

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The draft has come and gone. Let's get your early draft grades in and see how the group is feeling about the class as a whole, especially now that we've calmed down (or had time to process) over the Hockenson and Tavai picks. Here are the picks in full:

1 8 (8) T.J. Hockenson TE Iowa 6'5" 251
2 11 (43) Jahlani Tavai LB Hawaii 6'2" 250
3 18 (81) Will Harris DB Boston College 6'1" 207
4 15 (117) Austin Bryant DE Clemson 6'4" 271
5 8 (146) Amani Oruwariye CB Penn State 6'2" 205
6 11 (184) Travis Fulgham WR Old Dominion 6'2" 215
6 13 (186) Ty Johnson RB Maryland 5'10" 212
7 10 (224) Isaac Nauta TE Georgia 6'4" 240
7 15 (229) PJ Johnson DT Arizona 6'4" 335

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I would give the group a C+/B-. That's not a terrible grade, it just looks like an average draft. Quinn has been pretty good at finding solid, if unspectacular players through the draft so far, so that's about what I would expect from this group.

The only one with star potential that I see is Hockenson. 

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I had the same reaction on day 1 and day 2 as many other folks here did. After some reflection, I'm starting to feel better overall about the picks as a group. I wasn't around the computer on day 3, so I'm also sharing my general thoughts here.

1) Hockenson: There are some lofty expectations that come with being a top 10 pick, let alone a top 10 pick that is a TE, let alone a top 10 TE that is essentially replacing another top 10 TE that was taken over far better players by the same team. Quinn isn't Mayhew and Hock isn't Ebron, but there will be pressure from us as fans to deliver. I sure hope that they do. I had read that they had trade offers on the table when Josh Allen was still sitting there. Then the Jaguars took him. Then we pick Hock. So it appears that the QB needy teams were willing to sit and wait and we must not have wanted to move to Pittsburgh's spot at #20.

Overall, I don't think this TE class was as good as they were saying it was and took the best all around guy at the position.

2) Tavai: Quinn has discussed this pick in length. He fits the profile of what they want in the defense. I'll defer this to BQ and hopefully it wasn't a reach

3) Harris: While I didn't think we had a major need at S, I love the pick. Hard hitting and athletic with great size. Team captain at BC. I feel like he's going to become a fan favourite here

4) Bryant: The Ringo Starr on the Clemson D-Line, was a productive player at Clemson and is versatile. Can play end in a 4-3 and OLB in a 3-4 look.

5) Oruwariye: How or why was he available in round 5? Is there something that we're all missing with this guy or did we just get a steal and a half? I'm hoping that there isn't something medical but this is a great spot for a developmental CB and 3 rounds later than we expected him to be taken. This pick is tied with Harris as my favourites of the draft

6) Fulgham: Another pick that has the potential to be a lot more than what we expect. This is likely to be a slow burn but he could be a key contributor in 2-3 years time.  His explosion score is in the top 20% percentile, so while he's not a speed guy he is an explosive player with great size for the position.

6) Johnson: We did need a RB and he has the speed we're missing to go along with size. I don't know a ton about him but so far I do really like the pick. Looking forward to seeing more highlights of his.

7) Nauta: When this pick was made, I was thinking "Nauta another one" (bah-doom ching). By this team, I had made my peace on the Hockenson pick. I would have expected them to take a guy like Alize Mack or Caleb Wilson here instead of TJ Hockenson-lite when we also have JJ Hockenson on the roster.

7) Johnson: We brought him in and he sounds a lot like Snacks or A'Shawn. So I expect that is some added depth and allows the team to not be forced to offer big money to either guy.

Overall, I give this a solid B. I don't love it, I don't hate it. I see how some of the pieces could wind up being big parts and lead to some W's. The whole success of the draft is whether Hockenson can live up to his billing as a top 10 TE. If he winds up in the same conversation as guys like Ertz and Eifert, then it was the right move.

 

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B+

I pretty much loved all of it but Tavai and Fulgham, but Im coming around on Tavai.

And Im worried about Guard.

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With Quinns comments on Tavai I think we would have taken Leighton VanderEsch last year over Ragnow if he dropped one more pick to us. Which really disappoints me even though I like Ragnow.

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6 minutes ago, BZski said:

With Quinns comments on Tavai I think we would have taken Leighton VanderEsch last year over Ragnow if he dropped one more pick to us. Which really disappoints me even though I like Ragnow.

I dunno. They seemed pretty intent on Frank but you could be right.

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Looking at the overall draft, it's not terrible and you can at least see the reasoning. Five years ago I would have said this was a positive in the wake of the Millen years where there was no discernible plan. But now I feel like that isn't good enough.

I see guys here who have reasonable shots at being starters 2 or 3 seasons from now. That doesn't do it for me. I'd go into the reasons why the Lions should be settling for nothing less than immediate impact, but you all know what they are. I see very little immediate impact here.

The 3-4-5 picks all seem pretty good. Much like Hand last year, I can see Bryant being the guy from this draft that does the most this season. 

Most of all, it occurs to me that the Lions are like a college football program, say Stanford, that only takes guys on a certain level academically, and as a result limits their talent pool and will never compete for a championship. That's fine if you want to accept that limitation for your college program, but this is the NFL. Teams that put anything above winning, teams that would rather look good and lose than look bad and win, don't deserve their fans.

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15 minutes ago, Superduperman said:

Looking at the overall draft, it's not terrible and you can at least see the reasoning. Five years ago I would have said this was a positive in the wake of the Millen years where there was no discernible plan. But now I feel like that isn't good enough.

I see guys here who have reasonable shots at being starters 2 or 3 seasons from now. That doesn't do it for me. I'd go into the reasons why the Lions should be settling for nothing less than immediate impact, but you all know what they are. I see very little immediate impact here.

The 3-4-5 picks all seem pretty good. Much like Hand last year, I can see Bryant being the guy from this draft that does the most this season. 

Most of all, it occurs to me that the Lions are like a college football program, say Stanford, that only takes guys on a certain level academically, and as a result limits their talent pool and will never compete for a championship. That's fine if you want to accept that limitation for your college program, but this is the NFL. Teams that put anything above winning, teams that would rather look good and lose than look bad and win, don't deserve their fans.

I see a lot of what you're saying and I don't know how much I disagree with it. One element about this that I think is important is the quality of your depth. It feels like the depth was extremely poor when Quinn first came in and he has really had to spend a lot of time building that up along with adding/improving starting talent. He also had to evaluate and draft for a scheme that was different than what he was accustomed to and has been able to spend the last two drafts getting 'his' guys. Despite having been here longer than two years, it's reasonable to say that Quinn can't truly be evaluated on anything other than the 2018 and 2019 drafts.

I agree with you on Bryant. I think Tavai, Bryant and Harris will be the biggest year 1 contributors on the team.

On the "teams that put anything above winning" point - they're looking to avoid a bunch of Ray Rice, Tyreek Hill types on the roster. However, once you have a solid foundation in place you can afford to take those calculated risks and add players that are in need of a second chance. When you're still trying to roll out a new locker room culture and instill a winning attitude, there just isn't the framework in place for that yet.

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21 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

When you're still trying to roll out a new locker room culture and instill a winning attitude, there just isn't the framework in place for that yet.

Look, here's the thing with that. In the NFL, the cart has to come before the horse.

You don't get to build a framework and THEN instill a winning attitude. Your framework doesn't hold up long enough to complete it if you don't have that spark really fast.

Regimes in the NFL get two years, or maybe three if your owner is an old money hobbyist like Martha. Either you show something that gets all of your players and fans on board in that time frame, or your winning attitude never arrives.

Building with patience through the draft with guys who you project to be in your core in three years, when you're already three years into your regime, gets you fired.

Here's what gets your players to buy in and have a winning attitude: getting them more guys who will come in and kick *** right now. Making aggressive moves. Trading for Khalil Mack, for instance. 

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3 minutes ago, Superduperman said:

Look, here's the thing with that. In the NFL, the cart has to come before the horse.

You don't get to build a framework and THEN instill a winning attitude. Your framework doesn't hold up long enough to complete it if you don't have that spark really fast.

Regimes in the NFL get two years, or maybe three if your owner is an old money hobbyist like Martha. Either you show something that gets all of your players and fans on board in that time frame, or your winning attitude never arrives.

Building with patience through the draft with guys who you project to be in your core in three years, when you're already three years into your regime, gets you fired.

Here's what gets your players to buy in and have a winning attitude: getting them more guys who will come in and kick *** right now. Making aggressive moves. Trading for Khalil Mack, for instance. 

Maybe the Fords are willing to give Quinn and Patricia a little more rope, which allows them to do it this way. The Lions have sucked for years and fans still buy tickets. So it's not like if they try to give them a little extra time and it takes another year that there will be this fan revolt that forces a move.

They have shown that they're not afraid to make trades if they think it will help improve the team. It is possible that they do add one of these guys like Mack that you're talking about later on in the season.

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Johnson is a hometown guy, so I’m hoping to see him excel with you all. 

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1 hour ago, Karnage84 said:

Maybe the Fords are willing to give Quinn and Patricia a little more rope, which allows them to do it this way. The Lions have sucked for years and fans still buy tickets. So it's not like if they try to give them a little extra time and it takes another year that there will be this fan revolt that forces a move.

You're only making my point for me, which is that the Fords will never put winning first, and therefore will never win

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I’m giving this draft a D.  I’ve heard the same stories about this guy fits our system and others were going to draft them to make us all feel better about the picks, but I’m not giving the benefit of the doubt this time.  

I don’t like picking TE’s in the first.  There is no history of first round TEs ever living up to expectations. They don’t make the impact as other positions, they are cheaper in free agency, and they take longer to adapt to the league.  I would have been fine with what we had plus Nauta.  

Tavai might fit what we like in a LB but I’m still not buying the hype.  I think it was a reach, every analyst thought it was a reach, so i’ll consider it a reach until he proves me wrong.  

Trading up for Harris didn’t make sense to me again.  I like the measurables but he doesn’t seem like a cant miss player and that’s what you trade up for.  I also felt there were a lot better options at positions of need available.  

I like the Bryant and Amani picks.  These were easily the two best picks of the draft. 

Fulgham could be a solid sleeper.  He had a big game against VT but is inconsistent overall.  It’s a good potential pick but I still felt there were better options at WR available. 

Johnson is the same as Fulgham.  Solid player, I thought there were better options available, but whatever it’s the 6th round. 

I liked the 7th round.  Would have preferred we not draft another TE.  Getting a big NT late is solid depth.  

 

Overall I wish we would have done something with the O Line earlier and wish we would have added to the D Line earlier. 

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36 minutes ago, Superduperman said:

You're only making my point for me, which is that the Fords will never put winning first, and therefore will never win

We have also seen a history of the Browns pulling the rug quickly and constantly turning over hc after hc, new gm after new gm. I just think they're looking at this as a bit of a longer process than the traditional 3 year window. I'd say that 2019 is really year 2 of the Bob Quinn era for the evaluation process and it's really the first year to properly evaluate Matt Patricia. It's the first full off-season with both guys being able to work in conjunction. I expect that this is going to be our duo until at least the 2021-2022 season unless they go 1-15 or 2-14 for the next 2 years.

Quinn has a plan and we're seeing it get rolled out but it takes some time. Whether the plan works is something we're going to have wait and see.

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So after watching the Bob Quin presser. I think I'm a little less upset at the picks...Not the guys we want...but think why do we want them? cause they were hyped up by guys that have never even played.

 

So wth TJ. Ill give an A.

Safest pick in the draft. Will produce 100%. Checks off so many things. 

Need for TE

Can catch

Can run good routes and run after the catch

Can block (when was the last time we could enjoy a nice outside handoff and not lose 2 yards? )

Passionate

Not a Diva

Produced

 

Second pick was a shock...but like BQ said...when you are looking for a certain guy for a defense only a few are around...yeah they have big names...but no sense in having Clay Mathews or Von Miller in a 4-3 OLB when they could dominate in a 3-4 olb...so Im hoping he will be out new Mike and Jarrad goes outside with Christian Jones and the otherr guy I forget. 

3rd rd

I like. was captain of very talented team. Can hit and play all the spots. and great size.

 

rest are all guesses but I like the spots they addressed. Im sure they will be trading for a young versatile lineman to fill th spot at guard really soon. 

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