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Marino | Detroit Lions draft class reaction

APR 27 2017 NFL Draft
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

NFL Draft

Marino | Detroit Lions draft class reaction

Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs 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 Galladay 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
250 EDGE Pat O’Connor Eastern Michigan


Best Value:  QB Brad Kaaya, Miami

Brad Kaaya has the upside to function in a west coast passing scheme where he can facilitate and make short throws.

Outside of 10 yards, his accuracy declines significantly and doesn’t have the arm strength to drive the football down the field or work it into tight windows. Kaaya functions best from the pocket and offers little ability to work outside the pocket and extend plays.

Thriving on rhythm passes and simple concepts, Kaaya is not a universal scheme fit but has appeal as aback up. While I am far from enamored with Kaaya, in the sixth round at pick 215 he represents good value.

Worst Value:  TE Michael Roberts, Toledo

Michael Roberts blossomed in his senior season and offers a big body with long arms and gigantic hands. Roberts blocks like his frame suggests he should, with good power to create movement and stun opponents.

As a pass catcher, Roberts does well to establish body positioning and find space against zone coverage. His hands are extremely strong and he reliably adjusts to the football and hauls it in.

There is some development needed in his route-running to help him uncover. Roberts should be a solid backup tight end who is an NFL-ready blocker but also offers some receiving upside. Roberts was my 172nd rated player on the board so he was a bit of a reach for me at 127.

Could Surprise:  LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee

Jalen Reeves-Maybin’s final season at Tennessee was supposed to be his breakout season after a terrific 2015, but injuries precluded that from happening.

His ability to quickly diagnoses plays, attack the football with urgency, and rapidly closes down windows makes him an ideal fit to play weakside linebacker in a 4-3 alignment. He has the fluidity and short area quickness to operate in zone coverage, and can also carry running backs and tight ends into space in man coverage.

Reeves-Maybin is a bit light in the trunk, which impacts his ability to play through blocks between the tackles, and there are some instances of him going for an ankle dive and not a wrap-up attempt as a tackler. Reeves-Maybin has starter upside if he is healthy.

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Joe Marino

Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. A member of the FWAA, Marino writes about the NFL, College Football and NFL Draft for FanRag Sports.

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