After compiling loads of talent in the first two days of the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions took a step back on day three.
Don’t get me wrong, when you look at the Detroit Lions draft as a whole, you should be reasonably content with the prospects General Manager Bob Quinn landed. Many of us, myself included, are somewhat disappointed that Quinn failed to trade back in the first round of the draft missing out on an opportunity to add draft capital in the first three rounds of the talent-rich draft.
That being said, Jeff Okudah is a tremendous talent, but picking a cornerback third overall is less than ideal. Still, it’s time to look past that now and embrace a player that will trot onto the field and take away a receiver all game long with his stellar man-to-man coverage skills.
Quinn made a jaw-dropping pick with the 35th selection taking a franchise-caliber running back in D’Andre Swift. Everyone and their brother expected Quinn to add one of the top edge rushers available, either A.J. Epenesa or Yetur Gross-Matos. Swift will bring some more explosive play potential to an already loaded offense.
A round later that 35th pick became much more justified when the Detroit Lions secured edge rusher Julian Okwara, a standout pass-rusher from Notre Dame. He’s the brother of current Lion defensive end Romeo Okwara. So Quinn played rounds two and three perfect; the organization got its bell cow of a running back who would not have lasted until the third round and still found a player who excels at rushing the passer with first-round type talent at the beginning of the third round.
Quinn decided to address another need with the team’s second choice in the third round, drafting guard Jonah Jackson from Ohio State. The Lions were due to pick with the 85th pick and traded up ten spots to get the ascending guard who spent four years (Redshirted first) with Rutgers before transferring to Ohio State for his final year of eligibility to play with the Buckeyes.
Jackson started slowly in 2019 but got better and better as the season grew old. He’s a tremendous pass-blocker but struggles as a run blocker. Jackson is expected to start at one of Detroit’s guard positions next season due to his lack of run blocking ability; I’d presume as the teams left guard.