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Crabbs | Detroit Lions draft class reaction

NOV 26 Florida at Florida State
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NFL Draft

Crabbs | Detroit Lions draft class reaction

Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Detroit Lions.

The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:

Selection Position Player School
21 LB Jarrad Davis Florida
53 CB Jalen Tabor Florida
96 WR Kenny Golladay Northern Illinois
124 LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin Tennessee
127 TE Michael Roberts Toledo
165 CB Jamal Agnew San Diego
205 EDGE Jeremiah Ledbetter Arkansas
215 QB Brad Kaaya Miami FL
250 EDGE Pat O’Connor Eastern Michigan


Best Value:  LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee

Reeves-Maybin had an unfortunate go of things during his 2016 senior season. The athletic linebacker was forced to watch the Volunteers from the sidelines after just a handful of games with injuries. But the review of Reeves-Maybin’s 2015 tape tells a much louder tale: this is a player that can thrive in today’s NFL.

Fast to flow and capable of working out in space, Reeves-Maybin showcases rapid processing and click/close abilities. With Detroit looking to get more athletic on the second level of the defense, the addition of a player like Jalen to pair with 1st round selection Jarrad Davis gives the Lions a lot to be excited about in the coming seasons.

If he’s healthy, expect Reeves-Maybin to find the field.

Worst Value: TE Michael Roberts, Toledo

I like Roberts for what he is and what Detroit is going to use him as: A TE2 with a high frequency of red zone looks. It’s exactly how Roberts got such prominent production from his final season at Toledo.

But for me, targeting a player with his skill set in the 120s is about two rounds too soon for against my own personal evaluation. I do think Roberts will be a productive player in his niche, I’m just not crazy about how soon the Lions were ready to pull the trigger.

Could Surprise: CB Teez Tabor, Florida

Tabor is a player that was well regarded by many throughout the draft process. I like Tabor, but I didn’t love Tabor the way others have asserted. But I expect this is a place where Tabor can really shine and surprise me. 

Across from Darius Slay, Tabor’s skills will be properly utilized and I expect the Lions to put Tabor in favorable coverage positions. A lot of my reservations regarding Tabor as a high pick were centered around how he’d be used at the next level. Detroit is a perfect landing spot to keep him “in his wheelhouse” as a pass defender.

RELATED: Marino | Detroit Lions draft class reaction 

Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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