Round 1 (10th overall): TE from North Carolina – Eric Ebron
He’s an athletic Antonio Gates and far from Vernon Davis as well as Jimmy Graham. This pick makes zero sense as he’s a tight end, a position in which you have two weapons already; Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. You bring Pettigrew back at $4 million a year over the next 4 years and Fauria was raw last year but exceeded exceptionally well in the red zone. Ebron makes sense if you trade down or don’t have one of the tight ends listed above. I think they hit the panic button with Anthony Barr and Justin Gilbert being picked ahead of them. Ebron’s only benefit to the team is that he’ll take a lot of pressure off of Calvin Johnson as well as Pettigrew. Stafford has no excuse now… the offense has no excuse. There should be nothing less than three TD’s per game in 2014.
Overall Grade: C-
Round 2 (40th overall): OLB from BYU – Kyle Van Noy
This is a pick I absolutely love. KVN fills a need and they surprisingly traded up to grab him. I thought he could have gone in the first round but he didn’t. I’ll take him on my team any day. He still has his best football ahead of him and he’ll find it playing next to Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy.
Overall Grade: B+
Round 3 (76th overall): C from Arkansas – Travis Swanson
Most centers go in round 2 through 4 and Swanson is a highly underrated player. In most cases, I’d like to see a cornerback taken here but with Dominic Raiola on his last leg, preparing for the future is a smart move. Their offensive line is now set for the next 10 years.
Overall Grade: B
Round 4 (133rd overall): CB from Utah State – Nevin Lawson
Very physical corner who plays like he’s 6’9 and not 5’9. He knows this and so do the Lions. Lawson is very raw and could become a number two corner but for the next four years, expect him to play a part in the rotation for the Lions secondary.
Overall Grade: C+
Round 4 (136th overall): DE from Bloomsburg – Larry Webster
An athletic defensive end who is being speculated to transfer to tight end here in Detroit. I doubt he does. They know they need depth at defensive end and he ran the 40 faster than every defensive end outside of Jadeveon Clowney. He’s a project but he could develop nicely in two or three years.
Overall Grade: C+
Round 5 (158th overall): DT from Princeton – Caraun Reid
More of a typical nose tackle in a 3-4 defense but he’ll come in and learn the three-technique in the Lions 4-3 defense. With time he could become a situational player for the Lions and possibly a starter once Fairley and Suh leave.
Overall Grade: B-
Round 6 (189th overall): WR from Notre Dame – TJ Jones
It’s funny how the Lions go into the later rounds and find productive Notre Dame players. Last year they found Theo Reddick and now they find TJ Jones. He’ll be able to play some special teams and might find some playing time at wideout if there are injuries. For now he’s a waiting in the wings type of player who will probably start producing in year two with Joe Lombardi’s offense.
Overall Grade: C
Round 7 (229th overall): K from Boston College – Nate Freese
First kicker selected in the Lions’ draft since Jason Hanson. Freese was one of the nations top kickers last year and more than likely will win the starting job for the Lions. Not bad in the 7th round and a nice way to end the draft.
Overall Grade: B