The 2019 NFL Draft has completed, although the Lions had some lows, they also had some highs. All in all, when the Lions season comes underway, there will be some jobs to be lost and gained. Let’s look at some of the biggest winners and losers created from the Lions newest draft class.
Winner: Jahlani Tavai
Hands down Jahlani Tavai is the biggest winner of draft day. He went from (at worst) a sixth-round projection to a second-round selection. He will make more money than he would have had as a sixth-rounder. The best thing is if he doesn’t pan out, he won’t get any heat. All fingers will be pointed at Bob Quinn for making this selection. Yes, I do understand there is a real possibility the Patriots were probably going to take him in the second if we didn’t, but the Patriots can do whatever they want and we can’t.
Loser: Jesse James
Jesse James is a damn good tight end and I was excited to see what he could do as a number one option. Unfortunately, he’s likely not getting that opportunity with TJ Hockenson selected as high as he was. James will still have a huge role in our offense, but it’s just not as big as he thought it would be. The Lions are going to run a lot of two tight end sets and he will still be valuable. I just hope that he knew the possibility of TJ Hockenson coming to Detroit when he signed.
Winner: Jarrad Davis
There was a real chance of the Lions selecting Devin Bush in the first round and pushing Jarrad Davis to the outside linebacker spot. So far, Jarrad Davis had to learn two whole new defensive schemes. It took him a while to catch on his rookie year and then in his second year he had to learn a much more complicated scheme. The best thing for him would be to keep him in the middle. This way he won’t have to learn a new position and he can focus on becoming better, instead of putting focus on something new. Jahlani Tavai could play MLB, but I see him playing that “Kyle Van Noy” role in our defense.
Loser: Bob Quinn
Bob Quinn had some reaches in this draft. His first-round pick received a lot of doubt as well. The way Bob Quinn set up this draft is him saying it’s either win now or get fired. TJ Hockenson has to become something, especially since he’s the second tight end the Lions have taken in the top 10 in recent years. Jahlani Tavai has to become something too, If he doesn’t become at least a solid starter, the hammer will come down on Quinn. Those two guys were his first two picks. Bob Quinn is setting himself up to look like the smartest man in football or a complete idiot.
Winner: Tyrell Crosby
This is also a semi-win for Bob Quinn. The Lions didn’t take an offensive lineman in the draft. Which in hindsight, is one of the needs we could have ignored. Tyrell will become the favorite to replace TJ Lang at RG. If he becomes the starter and does well it will look very good for Bob Quinn, who took him in the fifth round of last years draft. Oday Aboushi will also have a good shot. I believe Patricia will go with the guy they drafted before they look at Aboushi.
Loser: Theo Riddick
I have written about this a lot before, even though I am a huge fan of Theo Riddick, I think it’s time for him to go. The Lions offense was really predictable last season, I believe Riddick was a big part of that problem. The Lions drafted running back Ty Johnson, who has a very good chance of being the third back in a running back committee. He was the fastest back in the draft and brings value to the ground game and the receiving game. Riddick brought no help in the ground game, almost giving away the play when he checked in.
Winner: Brandon Powell
I said before the draft that if the Lions were going to take a wide receiver, it was most likely going to be a guy who plays on the outside. Which we did with Old Dominion’s Travis Fulgham in the sixth. Brandon Powell is a lock to make the roster now, which all of us should be happy about. When the Lions traded away Golden Tate last season, Powell made some big impacts, especially in week 17 against Green Bay. He should start the season as the number two slot receiver behind Danny Amendola. I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually becomes the starter.
Loser: Teez Tabor and Miles Killebrew
Two former Bob Quinn draft picks out and two new Bob Quinn draft picks in. Teez Tabor and Miles Killebrew are two examples of Bob Quinn’s failures. Although before the draft, we could argue they would serve roles as rotation players, now not so much. With the addition of Will Harris (3rd round) and Amani Oruwariye (5th round), they will probably be the favorites for any roles Tabor and Killebrew could fill. They go from good depth guys to players who will be on the bubble come pre-season, they will be fighting for roster spots.
Winner: Matt Patricia
At least in Matt Patricia’s eyes, the Lions added a lot of new defensive weapons who will make impacts day one.
Loser: Christian Jones
Even if Christian Jones proves to be better, there will be pressure to play Jahlani Tavai due to the outrage of the pick.
Winner: Nick Bawden?
I don’t know at this point, there are not that many winners from this draft. At least the Lions didn’t draft another fullback.
Loser: Micheal Roberts
The Lions took two tight ends in the draft… I doubt they keep four on the roster. Maybe Roberts can play well enough to keep a spot, I doubt it though.
The biggest losers are the fans though, who went through hell after those first two picks. One Pride baby!