Photograph: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Actual 4th round pick (A) – Sometimes the Lions get it right, and make a good draft pick. When they chose Nevin Lawson, out of Utah State, with the 133rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, they did well for themselves.
Lawson had a tough start to his Lions career, as he had a horrific foot injury in week two of his rookie campaign that sidelined him for the rest of the season. But he has come back strong this season. Lawson played well in nickel an dime packages at the beginning of the year. And since Rashean Mathis was lost to injury, Lawson has started in his place, and performed admirably.
For that reason…
Re-draft 4th round pick (A) – Nevin Lawson. Keep up the good work Nevin!
Actual 4th round pick (B) – Larry Webster III had all the makings of a terrific pass rusher, when the Lions drafted him with the 136th overall pick in the 2014 draft. Sure, he came from a small school (Bloomsburg – Division II). But he had performed well against the competition (88 tackles, 26 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles in only two years), he had NFL size and measurables (6’7″, 262 lbs.), and he had the pedigree as well (son of former NFL defensive tackle, Larry Webster).
Unfortunately Webster’s development with the Lions has gone at a snails pace. Despite all his potential, he’s yet to see any regular season game action, and the Lions are still waiting for a return on their investment.
Re-draft 4th round pick (B) – The Jacksonville Jaguars got immediate (and terrific) results when they selected Telvin Smith with the 144th pick. Smith slipped in the draft due to concerns over his lack of size (218 lbs.) for the linebacker position. It turns out, those concerns were overblown. Smith has already compiled over 200 career tackles and 4.5 sacks, and he has displayed the speed, versatility, and play-making ability that the Lions could use more of in their linebacking unit.
Next: Rounds 5-7