Brad Holmes’ first NFL draft as the General Manager (GM) of the Detroit Lions has concluded with the Lions taking eight players. It is obviously still way too early to know the outcome, but Lions’ fans and analysts alike have been complimentary of the Lions draft.
The Detroit Lions draft is now complete, and the new regime is really starting to settle in. They will head into the 2021 season with some new faces courtesy of the draft and the undrafted free agents who were signed.
They kicked things off with Penei Sewell from Oregon, arguably vaulting themselves into position for one of the better offensive lines with Sewell’s talent. Then, in the seventh round, they closed things by selecting Jermar Jefferson, a running back from Oregon State who was shocked to have slipped that far down the draft rankings.
It was a good first draft from the new regime with Holmes’ hiring and Campbell’s being involved as well. Now the biggest question is if these players will be able to pan out.
Here we will take a look at how each rookie will fit in their rookie year with the Detroit Lions.
1st Round: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
With their first pick, the Detroit Lions selected highly-touted offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Sewell was considered the best lineman prospect in this draft and one of the best in the past 10 years. Sewell has rare movement skills for a human of his size to pair with his great strength and mean streak. He does struggle with hand placement at times, but that should be able to be fixed by offensive line coach Hank Fraley.
Sewell should immediately step in as the starting right tackle across from Taylor Decker. This would provide Jared Goff with two great pass blocking tackles on each side, which is becoming increasingly important as the best pass rusher does not always come off the right side of the defense anymore.
The Lions would also be smart to use his great movement skills and ability to block in space to their advantage. The Lions should run behind him and even throw some screens to get him out front as a lead blocker. The addition of Sewell to the young core of Decker, Frank Ragnow, and Jonah Jackson makes the offensive line the strength of this team now and for the foreseeable future.