Detroit Lions 2021 NFL Draft Recapby Charlie Parent May 2, 2021 0 comments
The Detroit Lions came into this draft with a new regime in the front office. Their plan was simple: build the trenches. The Lions began their draft by taking offensive tackle Penei Sewell at pick seven. They then went to the defensive side of the line and selected defensive tackles Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill. All three of these guys are players who fit new head coach Dan Campbell‘s style of toughness and physicality. The Lions also hit the trade market a few times on day three as they moved up to select two times in a row at picks 112 and 113.
Make sure to check out all of our 2021 NFL Draft Team Recaps.
Best Pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown (Round 4, Pick 112)
This could be the best pick in the entire draft. After not addressing the wide receiver position for two days, they got the best player on the board in the fourth round. St. Brown has the talent of a first-round player and the Lions really lucked out here. St. Brown will automatically be their number one wide receiver, as their only other top guy is Quintez Cephus. Due to this, look out for St. Brown to be a dark-horse candidate for rookie of the year next year and a big-time producer off the bat.
For more on St. Brown, check out our scouting report here.
Worst Pick: Jermar Jefferson (Round 7, Pick 257)
It seems kind of crazy that the worst pick of the Lions’ draft comes in the seventh round, but it happens to be the case. This isn’t really a bad pick by any means but there were many more needs on the board. They most likely should’ve gone receiver here as well to compliment St. Brown and add depth to a terrible core. Otherwise, Jefferson is a pretty solid back who was expected to go a bit earlier than he did. For a seventh-round guy, he actually has a really good shot of making the roster and adding a nice mix to the running back committee in Detroit.
For more on Jefferson, check out our scouting report here.
Sleeper Pick: Ifeatu Melifonwu (Round 3, Pick 101)
It was really hard choosing between Melifonwu, McNeil, and Derrick Barnes for this pick, but in the end, Melifonwu takes it. He has the prototypical length that teams love these days and will instantly boost a lacking secondary. Melifonwu should get some early reps and Detroit will certainly hope that he and Jeff Okudah can make a good young cornerback tandem that will solidify the position for the future.
For more on Melifonwu, check out our scouting report here.
The Lions come out of this draft still with some big needs, but they made a massive dent last weekend. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built overnight” and it won’t be for Detroit but the future is looking a lot brighter. Every single pick they made was a good one and each guy can instantly improve their football team. That being said, the Lions are nowhere near close to contending but they should be a bit better than they were last year and look to build onto this phenomenal draft next year. This is at least a top-three draft class in the league this year and certainly makes a case for number one.